Archive for October, 2009

31
Oct
09

OBR – Fed Uber Alles

Yes, the Fed wants to do the right thing and raise rates preemptively to maintain price stability. Bernanke and Kohn are dedicated civil servants who made decisions under the worst of circumstances for the good of the nation, not for their personal aggrandizement.Caroline Baum, Bloomberg News

It is somewhat unclear what the estimable Baum intended by this passage.  It came at the end of a article analyzing yet another conundrum of the Fed.  Was it meant to be a concession to head off arguments to the contrary?  Was it an honest portrayal of the Fed chair and his lieutenant?

The Fed has been, at times, on the defensive this past year, against Ron Paul’s Quixotic legislation among other criticisms.  From green shoots to inflation management, Chairman Bernanke has held his own against challenges from all corners.  But so unusual was Baum’s comment.  Bernanke is a civil servant, but he is not.  The Fed, its supporters and others have argued that the Fed should not be audited, should not be directly influenced by “political” concerns, lest its mission of full employment and controlling inflation (despite destroying almost all the value of the dollar since its inception) become compromised.  So did Bernanke and others counter the Audit the Fed legislation.  If the Federal Reserve’s august mission became subject to congressional whim, it would merely become another pork-barrel project.

But if the Fed is not subject to senatorial or representative oversight, these men are not truly civil servants, who should be subject to such oversight.  Indeed, professional economists, who are employed overwhelmingly by either state-supported academia or the government itself, no doubt see the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve as the summit of economeia.  Here we have a sole objective individual, surrounded by reams of data, all referring to the financial markets composed of rational automatons that can be adjusted by deftly adjusting repurchase agreements, reserve requirements, special lending facilities, interest paid on deposits and so forth.  Here is the ultimate control panel for the mathematical Keynesian through to the Monetarist: an imposition of government oversight or, daresay, free-market deregulation of the banking industry to remove its fundamentally necessary central bank, is not only unthinkable, but theoretically impossible, given of course certain assumptions.  For if a simple man’s best friend is a canine, an economist’s most trusted companion is the assumption.

And so becomes the position of Federal Reserve Chairman: a civil servant but accountable to one, lest that accountability compromise the mission of the very service the Fed was meant to conduct.  The Catch-22 of Economics: a Comrade Commissar of Money and Banking supported by the most laissez-faire of those deemed to be serious economists.  To paraphrase Dr. Friedman, where in the world will we find the angels to organize our monetary system as suggested by the models of mainstream economists?  Where will we find those economists who note and study out the fallibility of economic actors, affected by rational ignorance and public choice issues, but are strangely immune to such foibles absent?  Will we ask wherefrom the Fed sprang, whom it serves and just the extent of its powers?  Or will the curtain of the Emerald Palace remain drawn as the fraud persists until the edifice collapses upon the weakness of its internal merits–for there the Soviets have gone, the Fed will go but for the grace of God (who’s surname is not Friedman).

29
Oct
09

Roundup – The Number to Heaven

Happy Halloween, y’all

Line O’ the Day:

“I have no technical expertise or attention span, so it goes without saying that I could never create something like this.  What I can do is share it with you, and helicopter my wiener to the beat while holding my cat over my head.  I don’t like to brag, but it impresses the sh-t out of the neighbors.” [Filmdrunk]

Best of the Best:

NEWS OF THE LIVING DEAD:

26
Oct
09

Roundup – Look at My Horse

Line O’ the Day:

“No, you can’t ride shotgun. That’s reserved for my A-Game. I take it EVERYWHERE.” [michael_bay]

Best of the Best:

NEWS STREETS OF FIRE:

25
Oct
09

Roundup – Silent Film

Line O’ the Day:

“There are literally trillions of components to the U.S. economy. How in the hell is the Fed going to know the precise moment it needs to reverse policy? I mean, who’s going to argue against the fact that the success of its predictive power has been — at its very best — questionable. If Bernanke and his pride of dullards don’t call this one right, we are all screwed. And in my mind, that means only one thing.  We are all screwed.” [Ahlgren Multiverse]

Best of the Best:

NEWS IN THE HIVE:

20
Oct
09

Roundup – It’s a Disaster!

Line O’ the Day:

I had my finger on the pulse of urban comedy, but when I brought my act to ‘SNL,’ those motherfuckers just felt bad for me. None of the cast I came up with saw this future for me. No, sir. All I have to say about that is, where’s Chris Kattan now? Where’s Cheri Oteri now? That bitch can’t even get arrested.” [Tracy Morgan via Warming Glow]

Best of the Best:

News Dregs in Olds Dregs:

Goodbye, Baseball Season.  Goodbye, Benji Molina.  Keep Reaching for that Cake.

pablo

via In Game Now

11
Oct
09

Roundup – Wonka’s Tunnel of Hell Reversed

Line O’ the Day:

Masturbating to Showgirls when I was younger warped my psyche, because from that point on, I expected the female orgasm to look like Elizabeth Berkley flopping around (NSFW) like an injured sea lion under a waterfall.  But as it turns out, the female orgasm is a myth.” [Filmdrunk]

Best of the Best:

Ook-Ook is a Mindless Savage and Even He Knows When to Pull His Punches:

06
Oct
09

Roundup – The Obama Smile

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Line O’ the Day:

“I guarantee you right now, Roland Emmerich is watching tsunami footage and wearing a ball gag while his mistress stomps on his nuts and makes explosion sounds.” [Filmdrunk]

Best of the Best:

Remains of the Day:




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