And no, despite any resemblance, that is NOT a photo of the Three Stooges. A definite case can be made, however, that Mr. Bernanke is surrounded by “speak no evil” and “see no evil”.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart testified today before the Senate Banking Committee, about the Bush administration’s $700 billion financial industry bailout plan (see Associated Press article).
As incredible as this sounds, Mr. Bernanke told lawmakers that “you risk a recession with higher unemployment and increased home foreclosures unless you act“.
Risk a recession ?
Could someone tell us what they’re smoking down there in Washington?
What planet is Mr. Bernanke living on ?
If we’re not in a recession, then perhaps the U.S. economy will simply skip the recessionary phase, and just sublime directly into a depression (we’re awfully damn close). We suppose that would be more energy efficient.
We’re kind of surprised that Mr. Bernanke could be so out of touch with average Americans that he doesn’t realize what horrific shape the economy is in. He has spent most of his career in academia, so the isolation of the ivory tower could have something to do with it. And while he has a net worth in excess of $1 million, he earns less than $200,000 a year as Fed Chairman. With the cost of living in the DC area, that’s probably not enough to live a real lavish lifestyle. So, you would think that even if he isn’t your average working stiff, and he probably hasn’t lost his home to foreclosure or gotten a pink slip lately, he would appreciate just how much the average American family is hurting because of the R-E-C-E-S-S-I-O-N.
Does Mr. Bernanke really believe that a recession is still only a threat at this juncture? It makes us wonder if there might be something in the water in Washington that could be affecting the judgment of our nation’s leaders. On the other hand, he might be under considerable pressure to sing the company song, even if he disagrees with the lyrics. It does beg the question; just how bad must things get before the Bush administration acknowledges we’re in a recession. Would they ever admit it under any circumstances ?
If we’re not in at least a recession (or worse), why is the economy on life support, and why are all of these banks, investment houses and insurance companies going belly up ? And why are the markets so unstable, with one-day 400-point drops on the Dow becoming commonplace, and oil shooting up $20 in a day. And why are so many companies laying off thousands of employees each ?
If this ain’t a recession, what is it ?
A correction ?
A mild downturn ?
A slight dip ?
A pre-recession, kind of bumpy ride, but not quite a recession sort of thingy ?
A __________________. (fill in the blank with your own description)
As far as Mr. Bernanke’s warning of “higher unemployment and increased home foreclosures”, you mean it could actually get even worse than it is now ? Really ?
Something to look forward to, huh ?
– Routing By Rumor