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Ben is Out of Answers- for a month

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Dear Ben,

Well, well, well, Mr. Bernanke, tucked away in your speech was a statement that I knew was true all the time, but the world thought differently. 


Thanks for finally fessin’ up. “Most of the economic policies that support robust economic growth in the long run are outside the province of a central bank.” 

That’s right, Ben. 

Your job is not to drive stock markets higher, not to finance the well being of the European banks, and not to maintain the too big to fail corporations.  

The mandate of the Federal Reserve, as I understand it, is fairly simple. The Fed should promote full employment and create price stability by keeping inflation low. 

So, Ben, how’s that going? 

For a moment in your speech, I was taken (really taken) by the inevitability of events.

“How activity will stabilize and begin to grow again…households will strengthen their balance sheetsbusinesses will invest in new capital…European colleagues will address the crisis” 

Yes, Ben, and 2+2 = 4, night follows day, and my 10-year-old grandson will eventually attend high school. 

For an instant, I thought you were going to break out with the theme song from “Annie.”  (Let me hear you, Ben, nice and loud) 

“The sun’ll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun.” 

Yes, Ben, eventually the sun will come out and help our miserable economy. 

 Until then, my problemis dealing with the pain and suffering you’ve created in an attempt to alter the business cycle. 


 You spent quite a bit of time in your speech educating us about “recessions have typically sown the seeds of their own recoveriesas the business cycle bottoms out.” 

Unfortunately, you failed to mention the cycle must run its natural course, and contraction (failure) is part of the cyclical process. 

Begrudgingly, I think you are learning the old expression “don’t mess with mother nature” can also be applied to the business cycle. 

Failure and contraction is a very significant part of REAL recovery, and real recovery means “these developments create a virtuous circle of rising incomes and profits.”  I look forward to that time, Ben. 

However, I’m afraid it will be along time coming. 

Just when I think you’re on the right track, you dangle a new carrot and tell me to stay tuned until September (just like Obama) when you’ll tell me what you really think. 

Oh, well, I guess I can wait…(tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow!)        



P.S. – Thanks for all the intrigue, Ben.  It made for a very exciting week. 

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