Sunday, January 31, 2010

If Ben Bernanke Were an NFL Head Coach

At the end of every NFL season the pink slips come quickly. I think it was Jerry Glanville who once said that NFL stands for "not for long". That is especially true if you are a head coach with modest results. In the NFL modest results could mean winning as often as losing. A simple .500 record. This past week the US Senate offered a verdict on Ben Bernake's tenure as Chairman of the Federal Reserve and in my opinion their decision was the equivalent of bringing back a coach with multiple 5-11 and 4-12 seasons in his resume.

Am I being too harsh on Helicopter Ben the bubble blower? The video above, courtesy of my friends at The Daily Bail demonstrates Bernanke's fecklessness. It might be unfair not to assign equal blame to Ben's mentor and partner in money printing, Alan Greenspan, but Greenspan is off on the big money speech circuit now. Why anyone would be interested in what Greenspan has to say is another matter.

Prior to his stint at the Fed, Ben's claim to fame was that as a Princeton professor he was viewed by many academics as one of THE experts on the Great Depression. Think about it. The world's largest economy is in the hands of a guy who has no practical business experience.He has read a lot of books though. It's like making self-proclaimed NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. head coach of your favorite franchise.

Two issues surrounding the Bernanke confirmation still perplex me. Why is Obama and fellow Dems defending and pushing forward the appointment ? The Republicans have largely abandoned support for Bernanke, yet he and his predecessor Greenspan are and were Republican administration appointees. Why take the heat for the other guys poor pick?

Why do we have this fairy tale belief that the Fed can somehow manage a multi-trillion dollar economy. Wasn't one of the great fallacies of the Soviet system this idea that you could somehow centrally plan a national economy. It's so easy for us to see the error of the Soviet's on this, yet we insist on believing that we can somehow do similar central coordinating via the Fed.Is it any wonder we have witnessed multiple bubbles and an almost total destruction of dollar purchasing power over the almost 100 years of the Fed's existence.

If these Fed Chiefs are going to "get credit" for saving the system, they need to be held accountable for setting the stage for the system to need saving in the first place. Being accountable does not mean a contract extension. I am very disappointed with the US Senate and the current Administration on this one. If Bernanke were my head coach he'd be looking for a new job.

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