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Ben S. Bernanke's Payday Loans!
October 24, 2005 10:14 AM   Subscribe

The White House nominates Ben Bernanke to replace Alan Greenspan. Works at Princenton, got his doctorate at MIT, currently has several economic related papers out. Apparently actually has a job relating to economics, and wants to drop dollar bills out of a helicopter Well, cut taxes if we enter a deflationary period -- which is just as sexy.
posted by geoff. (58 comments total)

 
Alan Greenspan will be ceremoniously be dipped in gold and place in the tomb of Federal Reserve Chairman.
posted by geoff. at 10:16 AM on October 24, 2005


Standard!
posted by davejay at 10:20 AM on October 24, 2005


Tax cuts means throwing the dollar bills to the people who are already being paid. More dollars to those who are paid more.
posted by nervousfritz at 10:27 AM on October 24, 2005


So what impact is this going to have on my life?
posted by cmonkey at 10:27 AM on October 24, 2005


Well, at least he didn't nominate his dog. That's where my money was.
posted by psmealey at 10:35 AM on October 24, 2005


I figured he'd nominate his accountant.
posted by mullingitover at 10:38 AM on October 24, 2005


So what impact is this going to have on my life?
posted by cmonkey at 10:27 AM PST on October 24 [!]


Nothing.

Except, you know, interest rates for your credit cards, mortgage, car loan. Also, if you're really really rich, he'll advocate trickle-down tax cuts which would benefit you.
posted by mullingitover at 10:40 AM on October 24, 2005


tee hee.... you said "trickle"
posted by trinarian at 10:46 AM on October 24, 2005


I'm just happy it's not Marty Feldstein. For no good reason, I just get annoyed with Harvard sometimes.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2005


Probably the most noteworthy thing about Bernanke is that he'd like to have a very explicit inflation target, a la Canada.
posted by milkrate at 10:47 AM on October 24, 2005


I was pretty sure Neil Bush would get the spot. I guess they're saving him in reserve in case this Miers thing falls through.
posted by whir at 10:50 AM on October 24, 2005


He seems very competent; probably Jewish, which wins points, too.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:53 AM on October 24, 2005


Does it really make any difference who gets the job? Isn't it really the current administration that decides economic policy anyway?
posted by unreason at 10:56 AM on October 24, 2005


ParisParamus writes "probably Jewish, which wins points, too."

What the heck difference does that make?
posted by Mitheral at 10:58 AM on October 24, 2005


Does it really make any difference who gets the job?

It used to matter, back when we had an economy. Those were the days.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:04 AM on October 24, 2005


Feel free to ignore the fact that he's a Bush appointee - Bernanke's a perfectly good and non-partisan choice, as well as an ideal successor to Greenspan, ideology-wise.
posted by Simon! at 11:09 AM on October 24, 2005


He seems like a very reasonable and qualified nominee.
Almost too reasonable and qualified.

I think he was grown in a vat.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:10 AM on October 24, 2005


Guy's certainly got a resume on him.

May he preside wisely.

(knocks on wood)
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:14 AM on October 24, 2005


Quite the deflation expert...not like anything like that could ever happen again.

Via MSNBC:
In his two and a half years as a Fed governor, Bernanke was best known for raising the novel concern that the U.S. economy could be devastated by the type of deflation that crippled Japan for many years.
This article at SafeHaven defends the notion that deflation is a real threat, to be preceded by the "popping" of the housing bubble. The main factors that could cause this, as listed by Mike Sherlock, are:
  1. Enormous consumer debt
  2. Falling wages
  3. Global wage arbitrage
  4. Credit expansion that can not be maintained
  5. Mal-investments
  6. Over capacity
  7. A world-wide housing bubble
  8. A re-inflated stock market bubble
  9. The normal business cycle
  10. Past history
Now, given that Bernake has written on the Great Depression, and advances the point that deflation, recession, and depression are all intertwined, and the fact that all but one of the above factors could be described as in force, could the economic consensus in Washington be the deflation is on the horizon?
posted by rzklkng at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2005


What the heck difference does that make?

I think Peter Griffin would argue (in song) that it makes all the difference.
posted by psmealey at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2005


I'm just happy it's not Marty Feldstein.

It's a pity it's not Marty Feldman.
posted by keswick at 11:21 AM on October 24, 2005


I think Bush had to pick a current Fed Reserve board member, so there was no choice but to pick a qualified candidate. Otherwise, it would've been his stock-broker neighbor from Midland.
posted by mullacc at 11:22 AM on October 24, 2005


I was under the impression that Bush doesn't pick anyone, he just goes to the next name on his list of campaign donors and they get the new position. What goes around, comes around. Which is good because its about time for Bush to start paying the piper for all his misdeeds.

This Bernanke guy seems too eerily well qualified. Like Bush just had someone else select him or something. Maybe it was to help draw attention off of Harriet "Abortion = Bad" Miers and Turd Blossom?
posted by fenriq at 11:30 AM on October 24, 2005


This is an amusing post, in that people just have to find something to attack about Bush, except in this case there's nothing really to attack because it was a good choice. Luckily, some pundit will find some little nit to pick, and everyone will start caring about that, even though they know nothing about the subject today.
posted by smackfu at 11:33 AM on October 24, 2005


Hmm...I don't get this. Bernanke had vacated his seat seat, but the Fed Reserve website says:

"As stipulated in the Banking Act of 1935, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board are chosen by the President from among the sitting Governors and must be confirmed by the Senate."
posted by mullacc at 11:36 AM on October 24, 2005


He seems very competent; probably Jewish, which wins points, too.

Is that fundraiser over? I should donate some of my dirty jewish money to get Paris to shut up.
posted by Tlogmer at 11:39 AM on October 24, 2005


Rejoice, commies-- The free-market crowd hates him.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:43 AM on October 24, 2005


Does this Bernanke guy have any experience with arabian horses?
posted by jefbla at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2005


"He seems very competent; probably Jewish, which wins points, too."

Every time ParisParamus speaks, Abraham sheds a tear.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:30 PM on October 24, 2005


"drop dollars out of a helicopter" = massively devalue the U.S. currency, then try to use that devalued money to pay off the enormous debt... or, failing that, default on it.

Oh, yeah. Our creditors are gonna love us.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:39 PM on October 24, 2005


Ah. I had a textbook or two by Bernake. Never let it be said I enjoyed studying... :P
posted by slf at 1:09 PM on October 24, 2005


Bernake? He owes me money!
posted by COBRA! at 1:31 PM on October 24, 2005


"Isn't it really the current administration that decides economic policy anyway?"

Yes. But the Fed is in charge of monetary policy, which is distinct and very important. You might want to look into these things if you're going to comment on them. In general, you're about as wrong as you could possibly be. The Fed is remarkably independent, much to the frustration of every modern Presidential administration. Politicians like loose fiscal policy. Bankers do not.

"'drop dollars out of a helicopter' = massively devalue the U.S. currency, then try to use that devalued money to pay off the enormous debt... or, failing that, default on it."

The context for this was possible solutions to the very tricky and dangerous problem of deflation, which was a possibility. It's not really a workable idea, but the concept behind is perfectly valid and sensible.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:53 PM on October 24, 2005


Ethereal Bligh writes "but the concept behind is perfectly valid and sensible."

Yep, deflation is baaaaaad. Practically anything that could end a deflationary spiral is better than doing nothing.
posted by Mitheral at 2:29 PM on October 24, 2005


ParisParamus writes "probably Jewish, which wins points, too."
What the heck difference does that make?

Paris is just putting his racism on display for everyone to see.

---

And yes, bush didn't have much of a choice in who to nominate.
posted by delmoi at 2:33 PM on October 24, 2005


Racism? Assuming he is Jewish.. Well, first, President Bush, by chosing a non-Christian, is annoying all those idiots who think he is a wacko fundamentalist. Also, it puts the Arabs in a further tizzy!!!

In any case, a disproportionate share of economics stars are Jewish, so, where's the controversy: Feldstein, Greenspan, Rubin, Freedman...the list goes on and on.

So this makes me feel good.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2005


Ooops. Milton Friedman.

Also, I'm sure it puts many Euro-antisemites in a tizzy, so doubly good.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:48 PM on October 24, 2005


A Triple: It's a big F_ _ _ You to the antisemitic UN on UN Day!
posted by ParisParamus at 3:22 PM on October 24, 2005


What's so bad about deflation? Sell all your assets and put your money in the bank, then watch it magically grow in value. I'm looking forward to it!
posted by Potsy at 3:25 PM on October 24, 2005


Deflation blows. It's what causes depressions.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:29 PM on October 24, 2005


Or, depressions cause deflation. Or both.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:29 PM on October 24, 2005


Stability, or low inflation is ideal. There's an argument that slight inflation is actually better than none at all, since the ideal tendancy in an economy is for producers to want to raise prices, and for them to be able to do so.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:37 PM on October 24, 2005


PP -- Semite supremicist & racist extraordinaire.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:38 PM on October 24, 2005


A Triple: It's a big F_ _ _ You to the antisemitic UN on UN Day!
posted by ParisParamus at 3:22 PM PST on October 24 [!]


You're just silly. Many of my friends are jewish, and if I have any bias toward people of jewish religion or ethnicity it's a favorable one. OTOH, I think Israel's foreign and domestic policies are brutal and unjust. You and many people like you will happily call me an anti-semite.

Paris, your homework assignment is a 500-word essay on the difference between opposing a country's policies and being a racist.

/derail
posted by mullingitover at 3:42 PM on October 24, 2005


insomnia_tj: King of the cheap, unclever shot takers.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:42 PM on October 24, 2005


Mullingitover. I will take that as a vote of support. Thank you.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:43 PM on October 24, 2005


Well, assuming, arguendo, their foreign and domestic (domestic? huh?) policies are brutal and unjust (and I don't think they are brutal enough against Hamas, Hezbolah and Syria), they are far, far less so than those of their neighbors.

In any case, congradulations Mr. President for a smart appointment; one that will make all the right people happy, and all the right people more frustrated.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:47 PM on October 24, 2005


Er....congratulations
posted by ParisParamus at 3:48 PM on October 24, 2005


The wikipedia page on Bernanke is kinda amusing. Do a search for beard. Mind you, it will probably be fixed before long.
posted by sien at 3:56 PM on October 24, 2005


Bernanke was the Economist's betting pool top pick as well. Presumably because he's got a beard....
posted by ph00dz at 3:57 PM on October 24, 2005


The Economists take on the issue is also worth a read. They seem pretty happy. At least it isn't Bush's private accountant.
posted by sien at 4:10 PM on October 24, 2005


Of course, no matter how many qualified, respected people Bush appoints, he's still a lunatic Dr. Strangelove bent on destroying the world!
posted by ParisParamus at 4:17 PM on October 24, 2005


PP: C'mon, no one thinks Bush has enough education to be called "Dr."
posted by mullacc at 4:53 PM on October 24, 2005


I don't know why and I'm not asking. But this could be really good news. Just imagine, a truly qualified Bush appointee! I'm shocked.
posted by snsranch at 5:04 PM on October 24, 2005


This was really a gimme. mullacc nails it earlier in the thread: Bush is merely promoting one of the existing Governors up to the Chairman position. This is really the best thing that could've happened for him, since he really didn't even have the opportunity to fuck things up this time around.
posted by mullingitover at 5:28 PM on October 24, 2005


Well, almost everyone seems to like Bernanke.

"The last thing he can do is to afford to be perceived as an inflation wimp at the time when inflation expectations and actual inflation are rising; markets would not forgive such initial softness on the inflation front. So, he will not make such a mistake."
posted by sfenders at 7:49 PM on October 24, 2005


Until ParisParamus goes back on his meds y'all need to quit responding to his lunacy.

We had a nice run of several weeks without him successfully derailing threads. Let's maintain that.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:01 PM on October 24, 2005


Oh. This just in: the NYT reports his middle name is Shalom (which is also my Hebrew name ;-). So, guess he's part of the tribe.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:41 PM on October 25, 2005


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