Kentucky Windage won't fix this economy

There is no way for capitalistic adjustments to bring the target to the proper sight, not this “f….d up” economy that thievery and greed helped create. Only truth can take us to the proper path we need to follow, plus a willingness to tighten our belts. But truth and sacrifice are words deleted long ago from our consumer society’s lexicon.

For two decades I’ve tried not to miss any opportunities to watch the Fed chairman go before the appropriate committees in Congress to give answers and impart wisdom on the state of our economy. Yes, I’ve observed closely the dynamic, professorial duo revered as if entrusted keepers of capitalism’s scepter. First, the egocentric fool and low-talker of gobbledygook, Alan Greenspan… and now his successor, Ben Bernanke!

Tuesday’s appearance (3/3) by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke before the Senate Banking Committee, even under current trying circumstances that would warrant a modicum of irreverence and anger against those in charge during the greatest heist and cover-up this nation has ever suffered, still exuded a submissive deference from our politicians that made one sick. Only Bernie Sanders, the mild-mannered senator from Vermont – granted an “independent” political status instead of the “horrifying” Socialist label – showed in his questions a measure of logic with just a dash of disdain.

But guess what! Bernanke showed his true, noncommittal chameleonic colors urging bold, fast action from the government so that things might not get much worse, in either scope or duration. And just as he had done a week ago before the same committee, when he stated that there is a “reasonable prospect” for the recession to end as 2009 closes “if” the combined efforts of the Obama administration, Congress and the Federal Reserve succeed in restoring financial stability, he brought nary a light to the cavernous economic mess we are in. But should Congress, or the people, expect much more from the Chairman of the Fed?

Since its creation in 1913 through the Federal Reserve Act, the Fed has had a spotty record, at least in the pronouncements made by its chairman as the voice for the entire Board of Governors. If you equated this board of seven presidentially appointed members as the economically-equivalent of the US Supreme Court, as I did at one time, you would be making a drastic mistake. At least when the Supreme Court comes up with a ruling in a case, you get to know where the nine members stood on the issue, with rationales given in majority and minority opinions. Not so with the Fed! It is the Chairman who promulgates what we believe to be some type of consensus from the Board. That may be questionably so; however, I don’t recall governors resigning from their posts for any disagreement with the Chairman in their crucially important roles.

For all the foolish decisions made by pseudo-Nostradamus Greenspan, most tainted by politics, no governor among the seven stood out carrying the banner of dissent. And that reinforces my belief that the true mission of these individuals is not the effective running of a quasi-public banking system, but – at least in the subconscious – the “safeguarding” of capitalism as a system. And that is sad, and why we are now in economic shambles with a bleak horizon in front of us.

It seems tragicomic that we are enlisting people from the institutions that permitted the sacking of our economy, as well as the economies of many other nations, as the deliverers of solutions to restore financial stability. Sorry, but neither Ben Bernanke nor the other product of the Fed (former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York), Timothy Geithner, have the credibility to map out a plan of restoration… or to be honest with the citizens of the nation. When truth is not in the political cards, and the mess is as inconceivably enormous as it is today, all we can expect from these jokers is to shoot randomly, and achieve a slight measure of Kentucky Windage.

And for a last laugh, just as you are shaking your head as to what you heard from both Bernanke and Geithner yesterday (3/3), Obama had to enter the fray as defender of the Market (Wall Street, really) by inviting us to think that this may be a good time to buy stock. I heard him say something about how low the ratio of profits and earnings (???) was. Will someone please advise our president to stay away from venturing into terra incognita for him? That seemed to me as a greater faux pas than one five weeks ago where he said America to be the inventor of the automobile. No, we need no Marketer-in-chief… the laughable commentators at CNBC, headed by “Voodoo Economics” Larry Kudlow, have already mastered the cheerleading skills and pre-empted that slot.

© 2009 Ben Tanosborn