The Case for Ben Bernanke as Mad Scientist
by Robert Wenzel
The opportunity for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to stargaze in the clear skys of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and to bond with a horse whisperer has done Bernanke some good.
The speech he just delivered, in the land where Dick Cheney roams, was almost John Wayne like in its frankness. Perhaps, after his visit with the horse whisperer, he considers himself a cowboy. Whatever he may think of himself, though, clearly the label “mad scientist”, with the emphasis on “mad” fits best.
Let us look at this Bernanke speech, delivered in the land where buffalo roam alongside Dick Cheney.
First, Bernanke gives himself, and his fellow government interventionists, a pat on the back for creating and sustaining an economy that continues to leave European governments on edge about their financial conditions. A concern that also holds true for many U.S. cities and states, indeed for the United States, itself. He pats himself on the back as high unemployment continues to linger,as home sales hit record lows and as business await news about what new regulations will suffocate the economy.
Some environment for a government employee to take a bow. But he did:
On the whole, when the eruption of the Panic of 2008 threatened the very foundations of the global economy, the world rose to the challenge, with a remarkable degree of international cooperation, despite very difficult conditions and compressed time frames. And when last we gathered here, there were strong indications that the sharp contraction of the global economy of late 2008 and early 2009 had ended. Most economies were growing again, and international trade was once again expanding.