The Opposition To Bernanke's Re-Confirmation As Fed Chair Is Idiotic

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by JimofPennsylvan, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. JimofPennsylvan

    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

    Jun 6, 2007
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    Members of Congress should be getting on their knees and giving prayers of thanksgiving to God for providing our nation with a man like Ben Bernanke who has the intelligence, knowledge and wisdom to lead America through its worst recession in seventy-five years as a Fed Chairman. It is disgraceful that members of Congress are making Mr. Bernanke's re-confirmation an issue and the efforts they are making to harm his reputation as Fed Chair. Let's look at these goofballs criticism of Mr. Bernanke's of late.

    These critics want to blame Mr. Bernanke and his predecessor as Fed Chair, Alan Greenspan, for their keeping interest rates low through most of this current decade for the America's housing price bubble and the subsequent housing price collapse, the huge mortgage default and foreclosure rates and the ancillary bond related problems tied to these troubled home loans. This accusation is a complete travesty of justice. First, if one polls ordinary Americans it would be essentially unanimous that they want low home loan interest rates so their own personal mortgage payments won't be high and they can than have a higher standard of living on their income, low interests rates the Fed controls facilitates this hope of the America people. Secondly, I don't know where these critics have been for the past decade but the economy has been struggling during this period and thus needed the help of low interest rates from the Fed. When George W. Bush came into office the country was in a recession or not really good, shortly after he came into office we had 9/11 where the stock market tanked and the Airline Industry dropped in the basement during Bush's tenure America had oil and natural gas spikes that shook the economy, huge trade imbalances, a crippled automobile industry and very high yearly health insurance cost increases, etc. the Fed keeping interest rates low during this period should be considered unquestionably the responsible thing to have done. As for the housing bubble, its collapse and the home mortgage crisis the reason for all this trouble is because millions of the home loans made over the past decade in America should not have been made the borrowers could not afford to repay the loans, these borrowers incomes were not checked, these borrowers were given teaser interest rates initially and when the interest rates reset they were not able to afford the new mortgage payments which would have been obvious if due diligence was done prior to the loans being made. There has been overwhelming oral testimony made publicly from loan officers, bank officials, investment bankers that securitized the loans, regulators and even members of Congress that this was the problem the loans shouldn't have been made in the first place. This criticism of Mr. Bernanke is crazy.

    The other big criticism of late on Mr. Bernanke is with respect to the Federal Reserve and its efforts under Mr. Bernanke's tenure to contain the financial catastrophe from AIG's foolish issuance of credit-default swap contracts. Specifically, these critics are trying to make hay with respect to the Federal Reserves involvement in the using of tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer monies (around 60 billion dollars) to pay the holders(counter-parties) of AIG's swap to cancel the swap contracts and the Federal Reserves involvement in the fact that initially AIG officially didn't disclose the identity of these counterparties who were getting these monies that were mandated by the swap contracts themselves. With respect to the first criticism, where were all these Congressional heroes back in end of 2008 and early 2009 when the arrangements with these swap holders were being made and Congressional efforts could have made a difference. Astute Americans were speaking loudly that this was a terrible situation and efforts should be made to find a better solution. The facts bare out these Congressional heroes had their mouths shut because these heroes didn't have the courage to get involved and take the heat that goes with it. Members of Congress have lost all rights to criticize the Fed on this issue because their criticizism is untimely plus considering the fragility of the financial system at the time the Fed's actions were clearly understandable if not the only safe option for the economy. If members of Congress want to do something constructive on this issue explore giving the Fed and the Treasury the tools do deal with this situation cost effectively if it comes up in the future. A tool or a good law in this area the Congress could pass would seem to me would to give the Fed Chairman and the Treasury Secretary the power and legal right that if they both conclude that a credit default swap endangers the economy or a financial institution in a manner that is not in the public interest to allow to occurr they can force the bond holder of the bond that is the subject matter of the credit default swap to exchange the bond for a Treasury bond of a certain class which would be a class that offers the same interest rates and payment schedule as the bond being exchanged and since it is a Treasury bond which has the power of the Federal government behind it with its power to print money at will the Treasury bond would be considered beyond default and as a matter of law the credit default swap contract in question would be considered null and void. Therefore swap counter-parties would not have to be paid any taxpayer monies in the future to cancel their swap contracts when this issue arises. If Congress wants to in its reform of America's financial regulations wants to hit a real grand slam home run when it comes to swap regulations it should listen to its members that believe U.S. law should only allow for swap contracts where the counter-party is hedging a financial exposure whether it be a bond default, a drop in a currency value, an interest rate rise or a commodity price increase, etc. because this allowing of speculative/non-hedging swap investing builds in instability into America's financial system which isn't good for America. For all these subject matters of swap contracts have inherent volatilty in them which will result in the investment banks that sell these contracts taking a financial hit from time to time and if they make a miscalculation a big hit where unfortunately the American people could end up feeling the resulting pain.

    As for the AIG counter-party disclosure issue what a red herring issue. The identification of counter-parties shouldn't be considered all that critical, the Fed and Treasury were forthright to the public on the fact that public monies were goint to AIG swap conter-parties to cancel the swaps and get AIG's financial problems under control that is the really important consideration. Moreover, if one looks at financial cable network programming libraries and financial newspaper article archives for this time period one would probably discover that the identity of these counter-parties was well known.

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