James Pethokoukis

Bernanke: I saved the economy. Give me another term

July 21, 2009

This from Mike Feroli of JPMorgan (bold is mine):

Beyond the issues surrounding the economy and exit strategies, another aspect of the testimony that was of interest was the political angle. Bernanke made his strongest case to date that Fed actions have helped prevent what could otherwise have been an economic catastrophe. His very first sentence of the testimony read “Aggressive policy actions taken around the world last fall may well have averted the collpase of the global financial system.” After listing the notable imporvements in credit markets, he goes on to say “Many of the improvements in financial conditions can be traced, in part, to policy actions taken by the Federal Reserve to encourage the flow of credit.” These statements should be seen in the context of the whithering criticism of the Fed’s conduct of policy, some of that criticism coming from within Congress.

Bernanke warns Congress

July 21, 2009

IHS Global on Bernanke’s talk-talk:

Bernanke wanted to send the message that Congress needs to prepare its own “exit strategy” from unsustainable budget deficits. His formal remarks made no mention of a possible second stimulus package (under questioning he said that the idea was “premature”), and he said that policymakers should begin planning “now” to restore fiscal balance. He didn’t offer prescriptions on what to do (whether to raise taxes or cut spending), but said that postponing choices would only make them more difficult. He said that agreement on a sustainable fiscal path could lower long-term interest rates and boost confidence – the implication being that lack of agreement would do the opposite.

The case against Ben Bernanke

July 20, 2009

My pal John Tamny doesn’t think the Fed chairman deserves a second term for the following reasons

Thoughts on Bernanke, Lewis and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch

June 25, 2009

I sat through most of the Ben Bernanke/BofA hearing before having to duck out to do some CNBC. But these are my takeaways

America’s high-tax future

June 4, 2009

Francis Cianfrocca has an interesting post over at Contentions called “Our High-Tax, Low-Growth Future.” Like me, he also saw Ben Bernanke’s testimony yesterday as a harbinger of tax hikes to come:

Why Obama loves Bernanke’s big deficit warning

June 3, 2009

Ben Bernanke seemed to buy into the “bond vigilante” theory today in his House testimony as an explanation for the recent backup in long yields: