Say What? 30 Ben Bernanke Quotes That Are So Stupid That You Won’t Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes portrayed the Federal Reserve as the great protector of the U.S. economy. They claimed that unemployment would be 15 percent higher if the Federal Reserve had sat back and done nothing during the financial crisis and he even started laying the groundwork for a third round of quantitative easing. Unfortunately, 60 Minutes did not ask Bernanke any hard questions and did not challenge him on his past record. It was almost as if they considered Bernanke to be above criticism. But someone in the mainstream media should be taking a closer look at this guy and his record. The truth is that the incompetence that Bernanke has displayed over the past few years makes the Cincinnati Bengals look like a model of excellence. Bernanke kept insisting that the housing market was stable even while it was falling apart, he had absolutely no idea the financial crisis was coming, he declared that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in no danger of failing just before they failed, his policies have created asset bubble after asset bubble and the world financial system is now inherently unstable. But even with such horrific job performance, Barack Obama and leaders of both political parties continue to publicly praise Bernanke at every opportunity. What in the world is going on here?
Not that Bernanke is solely responsible. His predecessor, Alan Greenspan, was responsible for many of the policies that have brought us to this point. In addition, most of the other presidents of the individual Federal Reserve banks across the United States seem just as clueless as Bernanke.
But you would think at some point someone in authority would be calling for Bernanke to resign. Accountability has to begin somewhere.
The Bernanke quotes that you will read below reveal a pattern of incompetence and mismanagement that is absolutely mind blowing. Looking back now, we can see that Bernanke was wrong about almost everything.
But the mainstream media and our top politicians keep insisting that Bernanke is the man to lead our economy into a bright future.
It is almost as if we have been transported into some bizarre episode of “The Twilight Zone” where the more incompetence someone exhibits the more they are to be praised.
The following are 30 Ben Bernanke quotes that are so stupid that you won’t know whether to laugh or cry….
#1 (October 20, 2005) “House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.”
#2 (On 60 Minutes in response to a question about what would have happened if the Federal Reserve had not “bailed out” the U.S. economy) “Unemployment would be much, much higher. It might be something like it was in the Depression. Twenty-five percent.”
#3 (February 15, 2006) “Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.”
#4 (January 10, 2008) “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”
#5 (When asked directly during a congressional hearing if the Federal Reserve would monetize U.S. government debt) “The Federal Reserve will not monetize the debt.”
#6 “One myth that’s out there is that what we’re doing is printing money. We’re not printing money.”
#7 “The money supply is not changing in any significant way. What we’re doing is lowering interest rates by buying Treasury securities.”
#8 (November 21, 2002) “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at no cost.”
#9 (March 28, 2007) “At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained. In particular, mortgages to prime borrowers and fixed-rate mortgages to all classes of borrowers continue to perform well, with low rates of delinquency.”
#10 (July, 2005) “We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.”
#11 “Although low inflation is generally good, inflation that is too low can pose risks to the economy – especially when the economy is struggling.”
#12 (February 15, 2007) “Despite the ongoing adjustments in the housing sector, overall economic prospects for households remain good. Household finances appear generally solid, and delinquency rates on most types of consumer loans and residential mortgages remain low.”
#13 (October 31, 2007) “It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions.”
#14 (On the possibility that the Fed might launch QE3) “Oh, it’s certainly possible. And again, it depends on the efficacy of the program. It depends on inflation. And finally it depends on how the economy looks.”
#15 (November 15, 2005) “With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly.”
#16 (January 18, 2008) “[The U.S. economy] has a strong labor force, excellent productivity and technology, and a deep and liquid financial market that is in the process of repairing itself.”
#17 “I wish I’d been omniscient and seen the crisis coming.”
#18 (May 17, 2007) “All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system. The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well. Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable.”
#19 “The GSEs are adequately capitalized. They are in no danger of failing.”
#20 (Two months before Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed and were nationalized) “They will make it through the storm.”
#21 (September 23rd, 2008) “My interest is solely for the strength and recovery of the U.S. economy.”
#22 “Economics has many substantive areas of knowledge where there is agreement but also contains areas of controversy. That’s inescapable.”
#23 “I don’t think that Chinese ownership of U.S. assets is so large as to put our country at risk economically.”
#24 “We’ve been very, very clear that we will not allow inflation to rise above 2 percent.”
#25 “…inflation is running at rates that are too low relative to the levels that the Committee judges to be most consistent with the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate in the longer run.”
#26 (June 10, 2008) “The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.”
#27 “Not all information is beneficial.”
#28 “The financial crisis appears to be mostly behind us, and the economy seems to have stabilized and is expanding again.”
#29 “Similarly, the mandate-consistent inflation rate–the inflation rate that best promotes our dual objectives in the long run–is not necessarily zero; indeed, Committee participants have generally judged that a modestly positive inflation rate over the longer run is most consistent with the dual mandate.”
#30 (October 4, 2006) “If current trends continue, the typical U.S. worker will be considerably more productive several decades from now. Thus, one might argue that letting future generations bear the burden of population aging is appropriate, as they will likely be richer than we are even taking that burden into account.”
20 Quotes About The Economic Collapse In Europe That Will Make Your Hair Stand On End
Most Americans have been paying very little attention to it, but right now Europe is desperately fighting to avoid a complete financial and economic collapse. As the euro continues to fall precipitously, European leaders are openly declaring that this is the biggest financial crisis that Europe has experienced since at least World War II. So exactly what is causing all this? Well, just like the United States, countries throughout Europe responded to the economic crisis of the last several years by spending a ton of money. The problem is that quite a few of these European nations got into debt way over their heads. In particular, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy are literally drowning in debt. There is a very real possibility that several of them may soon default on their debts. If that happens it could set off a financial shockwave that could encircle the entire world. Because of the interconnectedness of the global economy, a financial meltdown in Europe would have a dramatic impact on the U.S. economy. In fact, the continued ability of millions of Americans to enjoy the American Dream is dependent on events that are currently playing out in Europe. Most Americans completely do not understand this, but it doesn’t make it any less true. If Europe’s economy goes down hard, the already very fragile U.S. economy will be crushed as well.
So just how bad is the situation in Europe right now?
Well, let’s hear from some of the experts.
The following are 20 quotes about the economic collapse in Europe that will make your hair stand on end….
#1) Andrew Lilico, chief economist at Policy Exchange:
“Greece will certainly default on its debts, and it is an open question whether Greece will experience some form of revolution or coup – I’d put the likelihood of that over the next five years as around one in four.”
#2) Bank of England Governor Mervyn King:
“Dealing with a banking crisis was difficult enough, but at least there were public-sector balance sheets on to which the problems could be moved. Once you move into sovereign debt, there is no answer; there’s no backstop.”
#3) GFT Forex’s Boris Schlossberg:
“I think we run the risk of seeing 1.16/1.17 before the next selling phase dies down. The euro is just absolutely hated here. The European rescue package still faces some regional opposition. There were rumors the German high court could rule it was unconstitutional. They don’t have a federal mechanism to put it in place, and there’s worries that at any point in time, the rescue package could be sabotaged.”
#4) Jeremy Batstone-Carr, analyst at Charles Stanley:
“The world is in the midst of a gigantic credit collapse.”
#5) German Chancellor Angela Merkel:
“The current crisis facing the euro is the biggest test Europe has faced for decades, even since the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957.”
#6) Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer of Advisors Capital Management:
“Investors don’t have the confidence that Europe will be able to address its shortfalls, or that European growth can recover enough to help these economies.”
#7) U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron:
“Today we spend more on debt interest than we do on running schools in England. But £70bn means spending more on debt interest than we currently do on running schools in England plus climate change plus transport. Interest payments of £70bn mean that for every single pound you pay in tax, 10 pence would be spent on interest.”
#8) Jeremy Charlesworth, manager of the Moonraker Commodities fund:
“Yet the European Union has decided that the solution to the debt crisis is even more debt and confidence in the recovery package has now evaporated. When people abandon bonds and Western currencies they will look for real assets, which can’t be created at the touch of a button.”
#9) Michael Pento, Chief Economist at Delta Global Advisors:
“The crisis in Greece is going to spread to Spain and it’s going to be very difficult to deal with. They are bailing out debt with more debt and it isn’t sustainable. It’s a wonderful scenario for gold.”
#10) Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago:
“The fear in Europe is very palpable, and it’s spreading to the U.S.”
#11) Dan Burrows of Daily Finance:
“You don’t have to be a member of the build-a-bunker-in-Montana crowd to believe gold could hit $2,500 in the next couple of years.”
#12) Tim Congdon of International Monetary Research:
“The eurozone will lose three or four members”
#13) Paul Donovan, the Senior Economist at UBS:
“Now people are questioning if the euro will even exist in three years.”
#14) Equity Strategist Peter Boockvar:
“Not becoming the next Greece is the European rallying cry to get budget cuts passed and there is nothing like a crisis to get politicians to act.”
#15) A recent editorial in El Pais:
“To maintain debt solvency Spain must squeeze public spending: yet this policy undermines the chances of recovery which itself causes further loss of confidence.”
“LEAP/E2020 believes that the global systemic crisis will experience a new tipping point from Spring 2010. Indeed, at that time, the public finances of the major Western countries are going to become unmanageable, as it will simultaneously become clear that new support measures for the economy are needed because of the failure of the various stimuli in 2009, and that the size of budget deficits preclude any significant new expenditures.”
#17) Anthony Fry, the senior managing director at Evercore Partners:
“I don’t want to scare anyone but I am considering investing in barbed wire and guns, things are not looking good and rates are heading higher.”
#18) Greg Peters, global head of fixed income and economic research with Morgan Stanley:
“Really, what I worry about most is the sovereign debt crisis becoming a rolling crisis and hitting the shores of the UK and the United States.”
#19) Bob Chapman of the International Forecaster:
“There is still no question in our minds that Greece was a setup to lead to a deflationary collapse later and the Greek people refused to listen. As a result it is now apparent that Greece is even worse off than the elitists imagined. We do not see European bailouts going any further. The result is the US and UK will follow. Financial Europe is history. You should all keep in mind that this is child’s play. Wait until England and the US go down, perhaps before the end of the year.”
#20) The front page of Der Spiegel, May 5th, 2010:
“Euroland, burned down. A continent on the way to bankruptcy.”