…With the general punishment of low hits. It’s ok. I understand that not everyone wants to hear what I believe about Bernanke’s “intentions” – but I’m going to say it anyway for my own benefit.
Just suppose that Bernanke is in the private sector, head of an enterprise division, and he makes a mistake as big as the one shown in Mr. Nunes’ graphs. It costs the corporation trillions of dollars in revenue, equal to 4% of GDP, and foists untold financial misery on millions for which is company is liable. To say the least, he would be escorted to the parking lot with a cardboard box full of personal effects from his office after having in his security badge revoked. I’ve seen it happen over much smaller mistakes in a multi-billion dollar company; a $2M mistake made by a very well intentioned individual that didn’t harm anyone other than shareholders to the tune of a not even a cent per share. Intentions do not matter, results do.
I understand why Bernanke is still around. Government has indemnified itself from liability. He can go on making mistakes as large as the one in 2008-2012 and just shrug it off.
I suppose I would make an awful central banker because I have a conscience and a sense of decency that wouldn’t allow me to look at data like this and be able to live with myself. I don’t understand how Bernanke looks at it and sees nothing in it other than lines connecting dots. Surely he understands what it means, yet he goes on as if he never saw it. Sorry to have to disagree with Bernanke defenders, but it takes some very icy substance flowing through one’s veins to be able to do that.
And it isn’t just the part about what kind of misery is illustrated in the data and looking the other way that bothers me. He and his sycophant cohorts actively engaged in a propaganda campaign to cover it up, and very successful one at that. The wall of deception, fear and doubt they built is so large and penetrating that some major econ textbooks are being rewritten with erroneous information, making it nearly impossible to ever break through it with real and workable solutions. This mess will undoubtedly take a very long time to clean up – all because a handful of cowards at the top of the food chain who should have known better wanted to dodge responsibility for an event that should have ended their careers.
The only possibly positive thing I could say about Bernanke is that he isn’t necessarily the worst of the worst. I would actually hand that title over to Mishkin who stuck around long enough to peddle his headline inflation-targeting, nightmarish snake oil and bailed as the doo doo was hitting the fan, leaving Bernanke to deal with a very large crisis minus three governors. After Mishkin did this, he quietly removed diagnostic information from the next edition of his textbook. We can’t have some greenhorn college kid questioning the appropriateness of the policy actions during the Great Recession using information Mishkin himself provided, now can we?
The whole thing is disgusting enough to be worthy of Bernanke’s resignation. If he did that, I might be willing to reconsider my impression of him. Until then, however, he has an awful long way to go.