After a big lull, of three years, at WordPress, I am back and this time I am aiming to be punctual to the practice of blogging regularly.
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The man next to me, Ben Bernanke, has led the Fed through one of the worst financial crises that this nation and the world has ever faced, said Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, as he re-appointed him to another term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Bernanke’s whose first term began in 2006 and was due to end on January 31, 2010. In his current stint, Bernanke has proved himself as a strong protectionist who saved the world from humungous debt by showering the markets with liquidity. “Economic medicine that was previously meted out by the cupful has recently been dispensed by the barrel,” said Warren Buffett in annual letter to shareholder in February this year. “These once-unthinkable dosages will almost certainly bring on unwelcome aftereffects. Their precise nature is anyone’s guess, though one likely consequence is an onslaught of inflation” Buffett added then.
Stephen Roach, Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, in his comment in a leading financial daily, wrote, “It is important to remember that his pre-crisis actions played an equally critical role in setting the stage for the most wrenching recession since the 1930s.” Roach also points out that Bernanke’s philosophical conviction that central banks should be agnostic when it comes to asset bubbles and markets know better than regulators thought process have been his biggest mistakes.
Bernanke, on the Board of Governors when his predecessor – Alan Greenspan grew the lax bubble economy, was often remarked as ‘Helicopter Ben’. He was the most vocal supporter of low interest rates to combat the bogus threat of deflation, even if it meant dropping cash from helicopters. In one of his speech around deflation, in November 2002, Bernanke had said that the US government has a technology, called a printing press that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. “By increasing the number of US dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the US government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation.”
“We are a long way away from completely healthy financial systems and a full economic recovery,” said Obama. Questions remain unanswered about the stimulus measures and their impacts on inflation. Also, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the US federal budget deficit will run to $1.6 trillion this year which is 11.2% of its economy. “We need Ben Bernanke to continue the work he’s doing, and that’s why I’ve said that we cannot go back to an economy based on overleveraged banks, inflated profits, and maxed-out credit cards” said Obama. Good Luck, Ben !!
The hype prior to the budget turned out to be unjustified. Why blame the finance minister for that. High expectations were as much to blame as anything else. Read on
Foresight or Fool sight? The answer lies in the brackets below. Here I have picked up Para 38 of the Budget 2009-2010 Speech of Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Finance, Government of India.
The financial sector is the life blood of any economy. (Agreed) Our Government’s approach to the banking and financial sector has been to ensure robust oversight and regulation while expanding financial access and deepening markets. (Agreed, this is mainly done through the Reserve Bank of India) The merit of this balanced approach has been borne out in the recent experience, as the turbulence in the world financial markets has left the Indian banking and financial sector relatively unaffected. (Are all sure, partially I am) Never before has Indira Gandhi’s bold decision to nationalise our banking system exactly 40 years ago – on 14th of July, 1969 – appeared as wise and visionary as it has over the past few months. (That’s a joke. All give credit to Ex-Reserve Bank of India Governor, Y V Reddy for building a strong wall against the crisis) Her approach continues to be our inspiration even as we introduce competition and new technology in this sector. (That’s a veteran Congressmen glorifying the Gandhi family)
So, that’s politics of economic crisis. The Finance Minister is gaga about Indira Gandhi’s vision 40 years ago for something that no one saw coming even 4 years back. Come on, Mr. Finance Minister, are you putting yourself in the big race to be the next PM????
Here’s a copy of a submission said to have been made in 2005 to US market regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission by money manager and investment investigator Harry Markopolos.