The center of much controversy this year Federal Reserve Chairman “Helicopter” Ben Bernanke was announced as Time Magazines 2009 Person of the Year. While he is certainly not the Liberty choice for person of the year, he has been front and center since the economic collapse (which was caused by none less that the Federal Reserve) began last year. Despite many who say that the Federal Reserve is making all the wrong moves, Ben Bernanke was certainly “A Person” of the year. However the Time story goes far out of their way to praise Mr. Bernanke, worshiping his every last remaining hair. Time Magazine LOVES central banking and Keynesian Economics.
“A bald man with a gray beard and tired eyes is sitting in his oversize Washington office, talking about the economy. He doesn’t have a commanding presence. He isn’t a mesmerizing speaker. He has none of the look-at-me swagger or listen-to-me charisma so common among men with oversize Washington offices. His arguments aren’t partisan or ideological; they’re methodical, grounded in data and the latest academic literature. When he doesn’t know something, he doesn’t bluster or bluff. He’s professorial, which makes sense, because he spent most of his career as a professor.”
“He is not, in other words, a typical Beltway power broker. He’s shy. He doesn’t do the D.C. dinner-party circuit; he prefers to eat at home with his wife, who still makes him do the dishes and take out the trash. Then they do crosswords or read. Because Ben Bernanke is a nerd.”
Yes good ol’ Benjamin Bernanke, with the power to bring the world to it’s knees and his love of dropping bags of money out of helicopters, he’s just your everyday guy who goes home to his loving wife, eats a TV dinner and does the crosswords before lights out. He’s just like you and me.
Day after day Ben is hard at work printing money and holding down those interest rates down to zero for months on end. Despite all of that power, does he let it go to his head? No, good ol’ Ben always remembers to take care of his friends. Because where would we be today without those who are “Too Big To Fail”, and it certainly wouldn’t be Christmas without “Tiny Timothy Geithner”.
Despite the Federal Reserve’s ultimate desire to be independent from Washington Bernanke still makes the time to meet with his friend Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner every week; during the Bush Administration, when Geithner served as head of the New York Fed, he was essentially Bernanke’s Ambassador to Wall Street.
Professor Bernanke of Princeton was a leading scholar of the Great Depression. He knew how the passive Fed of the 1930s helped create the calamity — through its stubborn refusal to expand the money supply and its tragic lack of imagination and experimentation. Chairman Bernanke of Washington was determined not to be the Fed chairman who presided over Depression 2.0. So when turbulence in U.S. housing markets metastasized into the worst global financial crisis in more than 75 years, he conjured up trillions of new dollars and blasted them into the economy; engineered massive public rescues of failing private companies; ratcheted down interest rates to zero; lent to mutual funds, hedge funds, foreign banks, investment banks, manufacturers, insurers and other borrowers who had never dreamed of receiving Fed cash; jump-started stalled credit markets in everything from car loans to corporate paper; revolutionized housing finance with a breathtaking shopping spree for mortgage bonds; blew up the Fed’s balance sheet to three times its previous size; and generally transformed the staid arena of central banking into a stage for desperate improvisation. He didn’t just reshape U.S. monetary policy; he led an effort to save the world economy.
Bernanke has saved the United States from the correction and single handedly avoided the catastrophe of a bubble burst. Thanks to his emergency action the bubble has been re-inflated and the world is safe again, at least until next election year. We should all take some time over this holiday to thank his swift actions because after all inflation doesn’t create itself.
To Read More of the Bernanke Greatest Person of 2009: Time Magazine