06 December 2010

Bernanke's Assurances

I didn’t watch the program, but apparently Ben Bernanke appeared on 60 Minutes last night to assure the world that he knows what he is doing. He claimed “’100%’ confidence that he could prevent runaway inflation.”

And how will he do that?

“’We’ve been very, very clear that we will not allow inflation to rise above 2% or less,’ he said. ‘We could raise interest rates in 15 minutes if we have to. So, there really is no problem with raising rates, tightening monetary policy, slowing the economy, reducing inflation, at the appropriate time.’”[1, emphasis mine.]

First of all, I don’t believe for an instant the Fed will stop printing money under any circumstances. But even if we take Bernanke at his word, I am astonished at how brazen and “very, very clear” he is about his use of force and whim to destroy any semblance of a free economy. How can any businessman develop a new product, expand manufacturing facilities, and plan for the future, when the monetary czar actually boasts of his power to impose dictatorial fiat to change the playing field “in fifteen minutes”?

Rational individuals in a free country pursue long-term goals, with the coming years and decades in focus. The economic "stimulus" engineered by Obama, Geithner, and Bernanke discourages anyone from thinking into the future more than a quarter of an hour. And these are the guys who claim to be driving economic recovery! How can anyone miss the inconsistency?

Either Ben Bernanke is insane for thinking this message is actually an assurance . . . or he is crafty enough to know that a perpetually gullible American public will swallow the message whole.


1. “Inflation Risk Is Low, Fed Says,” The Wall Street Journal, 6 Dec 2010, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704493004576001792213292076.html.