I wish Bernanke’s firing had happened much sooner, complete with the escort to the parking lot with the cardboard box of personal effects from his former desk that the rest of us have been treated to from time to time; far more often than should have happened over the last several years.
It is a strange coincidence that the Bernanke from March 2013, the Bernanke who said growing the pie is the best way to get a sustainable recovery and that he wasn’t fooled into thinking that low interest rates meant easy money, is nowhere to be found. We have the old 2% inflation ceiling Bernanke back; the one who just tightened monetary policy in a 50%+ below-target environment after Obama happened to mention that Bernanke has stayed longer than he wanted to or longer than he should have.
Far be it from me to accuse the soon-to-be former Fed Chairman of being vindictive. The circumstances speak well enough for themselves. If there is anything to it, however, it is a very sad refection of the state of affairs of the Federal Reserve System, and perhaps even Bernanke himself. There really is no excuse for hurting innocent people in ways that only a standing army could do otherwise; and I think that the stupidity/ignorance argument only goes so far. I don’t really know how reason would lead one to support that view, especially after the return of Pollyanna monetary policy in what seems like a blink of an eye.
If he had any decency, he wouldn’t wait until his term expires to leave. He really should go; the sooner, the better.
PS: It isn’t often that I agree with James Bullard. But here he is, as reported by Bloomberg.com, on one of those occasions that I agree with him completely:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, who dissented at the Fed meeting, said that officials “inappropriately timed” their decision to lay out a plan to reduce the pace of quantitative easing.
“A more prudent approach would be to wait for tangible signs that the economy was strengthening and that inflation was on a path to return toward target before making such an announcement,” Bullard said in a news release today.