Don’t bank on it!

In a taped interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes”, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated that America’s recession will probably end later this year. [We’re not making this up.]

Bernanke actually said that the chances that the recession could end this year hinges on getting banks to lend more freely again and getting financial markets to work more normally.

“More normally”, of course, means that Wall Street has to get back into the swing of things again. “More normally” means that Wall Street must resume swapping its worthless paper for the hard-earned money of those who have been mesmerized by “the Dow”.

Will Rogers had it right, and the fascination that our poorly-educated society has for whatever is printed in the newspapers perfectly illustrates the point he was making … all the while laughing at those in his audience who were missing the point completely.

The American humorist knew all about gullibility. Chairman Bernanke also understands gullibility. The American humorist made a living off the unsuspecting and that’s what Mr. Bernanke has done. But for Mr. Bernanke it’s not just a living, it’s a science. He as much as anyone is responsible for the turmoil, poverty and impending mayhem that is becoming entrenched around the globe.

“We’ve seen some progress in the financial markets, absolutely,” he said. “But until we get that stabilized and working normally, we’re not going to see recovery. But we do have a plan. We’re working on it. And I do think that we will get it stabilized, and we’ll see the recession coming to an end probably this year.”

What the Chairman doesn’t know about – or care about – are those outside of his field of “expertise”. For example, the collapse of the world’s largest industry, the maritime industry, means nothing at all to him, although these failings have become commonplace:
• “Idle Box Fleet Hits 484 Ships — Lay-up breaks record at 1.41 million TEUs”
• “More Capacity Cuts Loom at MOL”
• “NYK to Cut Capacity Again — Japan’s largest shipping firm is cutting its container fleet capacity.”
• “US ports slash handling rates to lure dwindling cargo.”

What those headlines should mean to Mr. Bernanke is that unemployment in this country and the consequent lack of buying power is the root cause of the world’s economic tailspin. Handing over more “bailout” money and more “bonus” money to the “best and brightest” in the banking system and on Wall Street, however, isn’t the way to solve the problems on Main Street – where the greatest pain is being felt.

[Well, charity begins at home, and home is where the heart is — and we know where Mr. Bernanke’s heart is. Big banks won’t fail under his watch, he boasted.]