Somehow, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke found time from his busy hedge fund advisory duties last week to tell his ex-employer how to do its job. Namely, he recommended to his former cohorts at the Fed how much they should reduce the Fed’s balance sheet by. In other words, he told them how to go about cleaning up his mess.
Praise the Lord! The Hero is back to tell us what to do! Why, oh why have you ever left, oh greatest central planner of all time. We are not worthy.
We couldn’t recall the last time we’d seen or heard from Bernanke. But soon it all came back to us. There he was, in the flesh, babbling on Bloomberg and Squawk Box, pushing the new paperback version of his mis-titled memoir “The Courage to Act.” Incidentally, the last time we’d heard much out of the guy was when the hard copy was released in late 2015.
With respect to the Fed’s balance sheet, Bernanke remarked that the Fed should cut it from $4.5 trillion to “something in the vicinity of $2.3 to $2.8 trillion.” What exactly this would achieve Bernanke didn’t say. As far as we can tell, a balance sheet of $2.8 trillion would still be about 300 percent higher than it was prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
Bernanke, by all measures, is an absolute lunatic. He, more than anyone else, is responsible for the utter mess that radical monetary policies have made of the U.S. economy. He’s the one who dropped the federal funds rate to near zero and inflated the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet by over 450 percent.
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