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Bernanke Does His Job So You Don't Have Yours

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Fed Chair Ben Bernanke got through his first press conference without much more damage than a government-sponsored bond repurchase program.

But he basically all but admitted that QE2 has been a failure if we judge it from the Fed’s mandate to fight inflation and provide full employment.

The last time I looked inflation was out of control and unemployment wasn’t much better.

CPI is running at .5 percent a month and could bring us inflation rates of double digits by fall.

Unemployment is persistent too. Ben said that we’re still seven million jobs short of where we were before the “crisis.”   

At least we now know how much misery $4 trillion buys.  

If you are keeping score at home, that’s $571,428.57 for every job not saved/created by the government’s extraordinary expenditures.     

Bernanke defended the program of quantitative easing saying the program was successful- it did what they meant it too. It got the economy pointed in the right direction.

This explains the disconnect between Washington and the folks back home. Only 22 percent of those folks think the country is pointed in the right direction.

QE2, says Bernanke, was never meant to be a panacea for the economic crisis.

OK, but was it meant to be a suppository?

He also called the economy the worst since the post-war.

I'm assuming he meant World War II. Have we actually ended any wars started since then?

And therein lays the problem. Ben still thinks that it’s 1972 and that giant men dictate war and peace from an area between Foggy Bottom and the White House.   

He conceded however that the benefits in following a loose money policy were getting smaller. That’s good because I don’t know how much more benefit the country could take.   

He said that inflation has gotten higher, but since wage inflation remained under control he saw inflation concerns as transient not systemic.

High gas prices are the price one pays for economic recovery I guess.

It's a small price too, relatively, because, you know, not that many people have to worry about commuting to a job.

Think of the expense if we had full employment.

I guess the Fed thinks that would be too expensive.

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