You see a pattern there? He's like a cheap quack -- a doctor whose quick fix for all his patients, whatever their ailment, is a handful of steroids to keep them going in the short term, regardless of the long-term damage he causes.
His latest call for more billions for yet another stimulus package -- billions of dollars "to help improve access to credit by consumers, home buyers, businesses and other borrowers" -- which follows Congress's first multi-billion dollar "stimulus package" in the American spring that is supposed to have "kept the economy afloat through the summer" -- which was followed by trillions of dollars in bailouts, buy-outs, credit injections and the partial-nationalisation of the American banking system ...
Ben is a Pollyanna with a printing press, and he's banking on it, quite literally, to fix everything.
Is anyone else starting to think this guy hasn't got even the beginning of a fucking clue? How many shots of fiscal bloody stimulus are enough, for Galt's sake, before you realise you're a busted flush! How long before someone with a brain says to him, "put down the printing press, Ben, and move away from the patient."
How long before the son of a worthless banker leads the whole bloody world into a fully fledged crack-up boom.
The economy is now on life-support from years of steroid abuse -- the collapse of the inflationary housing bubble caused by years of easy credit; the consequent flight into liquid assets that's caused the credit crunch, presaging the beginning of an inflationary depression; the desperate need to flush out the malinvestments that years of monetary inflation have produced -- and he wants to keep feeding this zombie economy the same steroids that caused it to lose its brain, and to keep feeding the economy's remaining resources to the malinvestments.
But the economy faces risk of "protracted slowdown," the Fed chairman says, oblivious to the reasons for the slowdown (years of steroid abuse by the Fed). "Another shot of fiscal stimulus may be needed now to help the U.S. economy recover from what could be a drawn-out slowdown," says the Fed failure. He hasn't even the first idea of what caused the slowdown, he has no conception that the slowdown represents the market trying to recover from years of steroid abuse, but he has one tool in his kit-bag to fix the "problem" that is the only sign of health.
It's insane. What's needed now is not to keep consumption up -- especially not if it's paid for with truck-loads of printed money -- but correction. Markets need to correct. Prices need to change to reflect what things are worth now. Misallocations of resources need to be corrected. Businesses with failing lines need to trim them and put their resources instead into things more profitable.
More and more billions of dollars of printed money will only prop up the bad way things are now, and prevent things changing to the way they need to be -- and to make it worse, the money Bernanke prints and prints and prints will be paid for out of the real resources businesses could have used to fund a real recovery.
It's time to shoot the doctor.
UPDATE: Jeffrey Tucker points to the collapse of oil prices as an example of one of the benefits of the collapse of the inflationary credit bubble that Bernanke is desperately trying to stop.
In a saving grace of productivity downturns, gas prices are falling dramatically, as much as $1 lower than a month ago. Fabulous news! This eases the tremendous pressure on airlines faced with declining ticketing, car dealerships with tight credit standards, and consumers who confront a recessionary environment. Everyone these days is cheering the lower prices...
In general, ..., most people are happy about low prices for gasoline. This is a model we should use for understanding price trends in the economy at large. Gloriously, the prices of oil reflect commodity prices in general, which continue on a downward trend that began in July. Yes, the price declines probably reflect a slowing economy. No, there is nothing wrong with this, contrary to Bernanke. Falling prices are a boon for consumers, a port in a storm. The worst mistake the government could make today would be to attempt to reverse this.