Sunday, November 29, 2009

Borosage on the Senate's Bernanke reappointment hearing

Over on the HuffPost, Richard Borosage opines on the hearings set to begin on Thursday December 3 - Bernanke's reappointment as Fed Chairman.

Borosage writes:

Two months ago, Bernanke looked like a lock. But now unemployment is over 10% and rising, while Wall Street bankers are stocking up on vintage champagne, ready to celebrate the highest bonuses in history. As head of the Fed, Bernanke committed trillions to bail out the banks while Main Street got left behind.

He continues with a fantastic analysis of Bernanke's history as Fed Chairman and earlier. You can probably guess the vein in which he paints Bernanke - Sancho Panza to Greenspan's Don Quixote.

Near the end of the piece, as Borosage goes through a litany of greivances he touches a topic that seems relatively basic to me. He proposes a question that should be asked of Bernanke:

You've expanded the Federal Reserve's balance sheet by $1.2 trillion. You've lent vast sums to private financial institutions against what you knew was dubious collateral. Others were turned away at the door. You claim that revealing who got what, why, on what terms would constitute a "takeover of monetary policy." What does this have to do with monetary policy? How do you reconcile the Fed's secrecy and powers with the Constitution?

Frankly, I have no idea why the Senate Banking Chairman seems supportive of President Obama's reappointment. Suffice it to say, I don't feel as though Senator Chris Dodd represents me... though I'm sure his supporters on Wall Street are thrilled with him.

Tim White

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