Wednesday, February 27, 2008

BEN BERNANKE--DETERMINED TO DRIVE A STAKE THROUGH THE HEART OF THE DOLLAR

February 27, 2008

Fed Chief Signals He’s Open to More Rate Cuts

WASHINGTON — Having already slashed short-term interest rates by almost half since August, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben S. Bernanke, signaled on Wednesday that more rate cuts — which is to say more cheap money — may lie ahead.

Mr. Bernanke’s assumption is that slowing economic growth will reduce inflationary pressures in the months ahead, because debt-laden consumers will be far more wary of spending money and businesses will be more cautious about investing in more plant and equipment.

But the success or failure of the Fed’s strategy could depend on something outside Mr. Bernanke’s immediate control: foreign confidence in the American dollar and foreign willingness to keep financing the United States’ huge external debt.

The dollar has plunged against most major currencies since the Federal Reserve first began cutting interest rates in September, and slipped to another all-time low against the euro after Mr. Bernanke’s testimony on Wednesday.

--read entire article--

____________________________________________________________

Cheap money is what got us where we are.

Alan Greenspan's answer to goosing the economy brought us bubble after bubble, fraud upon fraud. Bernanke, who ought to know better or, at the very least, ought to gamble on being wrong by different means, is planning to give another shot of Viagra to this increasingly flaccid economy.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. " -Benjamin Franklin

Cheap money was the fuel that shot hedge-funds into controlling the American economy while, at the same time, having no controls on their activity. The last time we had an investment community with essentially no controls was 1928.

This time it's different. This time you can't even get in the game of 'privatization funds' or 'hedge-funds' unless you are

  • Super-rich, or
  • Holding enough assets of the common man as to 'qualify' as super-rich (see pension funds, where your money is)
The super-rich connived to argue the case in Congress that, because they were super-rich, they could afford any losses they might bump into along the rocky road of the investment world and therefore needed no oversight. Then began the fun. Having been given the keys to the nation's economic car, they did exactly as any unsupervised, spoiled and undisciplined teenager would do--they wrecked it. They're sorry. Henry Paulson, the Secretary of the Treasury is sorry. Ben Bernanke, the Fed Chairman is sorry. It turns out that maybe now they can't afford their losses and would like Henry and Ben (and particularly you and me) to bail them out. The dollar isn't noticed here at home, it's only valued offshore--away from the prying eyes of the general public. It's lost half its value.
Internationally, America is worth half what it was seven years ago, when these neocon bullies took over the controls. Everything in the United States; every business, every bank account, every car and home and lawnmower is worth half of what it was when this man was imposed upon us as president by the Supreme Court. And the ultimate resting place of the American dollar is far from bottoming out. Read more--and weep.
These nitwits have doubled our debt and halved our assets. While you were trying to figure out how to get to the end of the month, Bush took everything you worked a lifetime to save and devalued it by half. While you were attending to other things, he ran up a debt in your name. Want to know how much you owe? $30,637.27. Check out the National Debt Clock. That debt is per person. If you have an average family of four, the total is $122,549.08. And you thought Master Card was over due. But no one back here in the homeland knows that. Their Big Mac and Starbucks double chocolate latte still has the same price tag, it's just their homes and businesses and job security and chance at a decent life that's going down the tubes. So Ben is going to sell the dollar down the sewer again, with a rate cut. Because his bosses (both in the administration and the business community) are scared shitless and Ben doesn't know what else to do. What you do, Ben, is protect the dollar. Save the major asset of every hardworking, overstressed, underpaid American--their home. It's not so hard, Ben. Let those high-rollers who conned Congress into the fairy tale that they could afford their losses, do just that--afford them. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there's an alternative to affording their losses. It's called prison and it's where people go when they commit fraud. You and Henry are not immune to those laws either, Ben. Think about it.


* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Washington at Work, check out Opinion-Columns.com