Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bernanke's infomercial on 60 Minutes

I'm live blogging Bernanke's appearance on 60 Minutes. See the video here.

First impression is that this interview is like a bad infomercial. I wonder if the questions were submitted to Bermonkey in advance. (Ans: Yes) I wonder how much editing was done to this "live" interview. (Ans: A lot) There was even an awkward edit where the 60 Minute commentator does a "voice over" while Bermonkey is talking. Is B-monkey incapable of giving a coherent, understandable answer to a simple question? (Ans: Yes)

The Fed chairman never does an interview, but here he is. The guy does not inspire confidence. He has a shaky voice, like he is very nervous.

Bernanke's old neighborhood. He's just a regular guy. Really. We should feel sorry for the guy I suppose. He really is pathetic. They are sitting down on a bench in mainstreet. My guess is that they had to have a huge number of police on hand to protect the guy, but they are off camera. (Ans: Good guess)

Bernanke pretends that he gives a sh*t about the "little people". Is anybody buying this? (Ans: No)

Oh-oh, here comes the fairy tale about how the "watchdog" Fed fell asleep at the wheel.

Interviewer: "Does the Fed bear responibility?" (Ans: Hell yes!)
B-monkey: "We could have done a better job."

B-monkey wants more regulations, but he didn't use the regulations that he had available. Look at Madoff as a blatant example of how the regulators are in bed with the financial industry. But that's nothing compared to the Fed's relationship with the big Wall St. banks.

B-monkey says "don't worry, be happy".

"Green shoots"? Is that like Spring on its way? (Ans: I don't have a clue)

B-monkey has "confidence". Wall St. not so much.

Finishes with an "American people" bla-bla-bla comment. They don't call them International Bankers for nothing. They don't give a hoot about the "American people", they only care about the Elite that they represent. If unemployment was 9% and the S&P 500 was still near its peak, then there would be no "financial crisis" from the point of view of the Fed. It's only because the billionaires are feeling the effects that there is an official "crisis". This is all about "saving the billionaires".

The bailouts are all for the benefit of the billionaires not the ordinary working people. We are the ones that will get stuck paying off those loans. This is a transfer of wealth from the average citizen to the billionaires. The crisis will be used as a pretext to strip Americans of their rights, just like 9-11 was.

BTW, at the first commercial break there was a news update about the AIG bonuses - how appropriate. This was right after Bernanke had finished his comments about how "angry" he was about the AIG bailout. Somehow the term "too big to fail" never crept into the conversation.

How did they get so big? Because people in the Fed approved of this and even encouraged it. I remember not that long ago (10 years?) when there were a series of articles about how it was necessary for the big American banks to merge so they could compete with big banks overseas. That didn't work out so well. We're supposed to have government organizations like the FDIC that can step in and shut down banks in an orderly way without creating a panic. But that doesn't work when the banks are "too big to fail".

When you're tbtf it turns out that there is an implicit guarantee that the taxpayers are on the hook to provide you with extra funds. Of course we sort of knew that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were these sort of quasi-private quasi-governmental organizations that had the implicit backing of the federal government. But who knew that Citigroup would fall into the same category? Never mind an "insurer" like AIG?

The biggest lie of the night by B-monkey was the oft repeated story about how AIG was able to get away with its risky behavior because somehow they were doing some activities that weren't regulated. The Fed is supposed to be in the loop as to what is going on at that level of activity. It's not like we're talking about a few million dollars in activity that fell between the cracks. AIG was at the heart of the derivatives business to the tune of trillions of dollars. Is B-monkey trying to tell us that he and his fellow Fed members are so out of touch with the financial system that they couldn't see what was happening and the consequences once there was a downturn in the economy? (Ans: No f-ing way)

Riki-Tiki-Tavi Mongoose is gone
music and lyrics by Donovan

Better get into what you gotta get into
Better get into it now, no slacking please
United Nations ain't really united
And the organisations ain't really organised

Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone
Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone
Won't be coming around for to kill your snakes no more my love
Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone

(Every)body who read the Jungle Book knows that Riki tiki tavi's a mongoose who kills snakes
(Well) when I was a young man I was led to believe there were organisations to kill my snakes for me
ie the church, ie the government, ie the school
(but when I got a little older) I learned I had to kill them myself

(I said) Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone
Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone
Won't be coming around for to kill your snakes no more my love
Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone

(16 bars instrumental)

People walk around they don't know what they're doing
They bin lost so long they don't know what they've been looking for
Well, I know what I'm a looking for but I just can't find it
I guess I gotta look inside of myself some more

oh oh oh inside of myself some more
oh oh oh inside of myself some more
In other words you've been lied to. In other words the government isn't looking out for you so you better look out for yourself. In other words there is a hidden agenda, there is a conspiracy. Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone.

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