Bernanke Lied His Way Through a ’60 Minutes’ Infomercial

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
By Paul Martin

by Gary North

Ben Bernanke ought to write country music songs on the side. They would all have the same theme: I cheated on you honey, but take me back one more time.

His appearance on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, December 5, was clearly his attempt to deal with criticism of the Federal Reserve’s policy of purchasing up to $600 billion of Treasury debt – or more, as he admitted.

As part of his justification of his policy – and it really is his policy – he argued that the unemployment rate will not otherwise come down.

The unemployment rate is just not going down. Unemployment is just about the same as it was in mid-2009, when the economy started growing. So, that’s a major concern. And it looks that at current rates, that it may take some years before the unemployment rate is back down to more normal levels.

This is a good public relations approach. The public is legitimately concerned about unemployment. The fact that the government two days before had announced an increase from 9.6% to 9.8% made this issue the main one that the interviewer, Scott Pelley, wanted to talk about. Bernanke did, too.

He is positioning the decision to implement the stimulus as necessary to avoid years of high unemployment

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