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Old 12-04-2011, 09:07 AM   #1
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Snidely NY Sun: Bernanke’s Forgotten Footnote

Someone didn't get the Journolist memo not to be critical of the Fed or policy makers:
Quote :
As the markets settle down after the big move by the central banks to stabilize the situation in respect of Europe, we find ourselves thinking of the speech the Federal Reserve’s Ben Bernanke gave at the National Press Club on November 21, 2002,* when he was but a governor and not yet chairman. The speech, entitled, “Deflation: Making Sure ‘It’ Doesn’t Happen Here,” offered an explanation of how the Fed would operate, hypothetically, once it had already brought its main monetary policy tool, the Fed Funds rate, to zero.

It was this speech that contained the reference to the Fed’s ability to print dollars that earned Mr. Bernanke the sobriquet “Helicopter Ben,” after Milton Friedman’s explanation that the Fed could figuratively drop money from helicopters if it had to. Now that the Fed has held the Fed Funds rate near zero for several years and has committed to keep it there at least through mid-2013, the speech has turned into a kind of playbook or checklist of all that Mr. Bernanke has done since and may yet do.

The famous footnote came in where the chairman, in the course of explaining the ways in which the Fed could inject money into the economy, asserted that that the Fed “has the authority to buy foreign government debt, as well as domestic government debt. Potentially, this class of assets offers huge scope for Fed operations, as the quantity of foreign assets eligible for purchase by the Fed is several times the stock of U.S. government debt.”

There the Fed’s own publication of the speech offers footnote 16. “The Fed,” it says, “has committed to the Congress that it will not use this power to ‘bail out’ foreign governments; hence in practice it would purchase only highly rated foreign government debt.” We wonder if anyone in Congress other than Ron Paul will remember this commitment. “Highly rated government debt” seems such a quaint concept today, nine years later, especially since the United States itself has been downgraded. And the commitment to not “bail out” foreign governments seems practically naïve given what has transpired during the crisis.
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More: http://www.nysun.com/editorials/bern...ootnote/87588/
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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I get this picture in my head of trying to reel in a big fish on 6 lbs test mono-filament fishing line. The rod is fully flexed and the whole time my brain is screaming to not pull too hard or you'll lose it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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So, doing dollar swaps on the cheap is not considered a bailout? I guess dumping trillions in to foreign owned banks isn't either. These asshats are doing the exact opposite of what needs to be done. This financial system needs to be ree-set, but the PTB will never allow the monied few to lose it all.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Banks uber alles.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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When these titan banks finally fall, I will experience a nice dose of shaudenfreud.
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