So it is a bit shocking that Baker has the following reaction:
Marketplace radio had a segment this morning in which former labor secretary Robert Reich discussed with the host Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's prospects for reappointment. Remarkably, neither the host nor Mr. Reich said a word about Mr. Bernanke's responsibility for the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Before taking over as Fed chair in January of 2006, Bernanke had served as head of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisors and as a member of the Fed's Board of Governors.For goodness sake, as Obama has said "the past is the past, we should be forward looking". Just because a person was a mass murderer, we shouldn't let that blind us to his charming qualities, his wit, his ability to dazzle us with new possibilities. I say make Charles Manson Chief of the Supreme Court. He has an acute legal mind, as good as Bernanke's financial acumen. Put Al Capone as head of the FBI. He knows how to run an organization! Make Typhoid Mary the head of the CDC! Dig up Groucho Marx and make him Speaker of the House. Nobody could speak better than Groucho!
After Alan Greenspan, there was probably no one better positioned to stem the growth of the housing bubble than Bernanke. Yet, he did nothing to combat the bubble, arguing that everything was just fine. This negligence was directly responsible for the crisis and the resulting downturn.
It is incredible that Bernanke's failure to combat the bubble does not even come up in discussions of his reappointment. This would be like a school bus driver coming up for a contract renewal with no one mentioning the fact that he had drunkenly taken his bus into oncoming traffic, killing all his passengers. Outside of the top echelons of power, workers are usually held more accountable for their job performance.
I just don't understand why Baker wants to confuse us with this rambling non-sequitur about buses and bus drivers. We are talking money.
If Bernanke is not interested in the appointment, I suggest that we put Bernie Madoff in charge of the Federal Reserve. Now there's a guy who knows how to do magic with billions of dollars!