Time [magazine] made a mistake when it announced this week that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke should be its Person of the Year. But if Bernanke was a mistake, who should be Person of the Year? I nominate Grandma — your Grandma, my Grandma, every Grandma — because Grandmothers as a group are doing a better job than Ben is this year at propping-up the American way of life.Larry Summers was on the Sunday morning talk shows today. That guy along with Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner and Alan Greenspan are the ones who encouraged deregulation and big risk taking by the banks. They are the ones who almost single-handedly took down the world's economy. And they, like the Wall Street bankers, haven't had to pay any price. In fact, all except Alan Greenspan -- who retired -- got a promotion!
But wait, didn’t Ben save us all from a Great Depression? Didn’t his inspired and bold action opening taps and taking an axe to hogsheads of money down at the Fed preserve our very way of life? No. He preserved Wall Street’s way of life. He saved the banks, not their depositors. In fact, he used the depositor’s money (our money and that of our children and grandchildren) to not save the depositors, which I find particularly ironic.
We had a real estate crisis that precipitated a banking crisis, but Ben only fixed the banks, and not all that well, either.
And Grandma? She wrote a check, lots of checks, to her kids and grandkids helping them keep their homes. There is right now a charitable transfer of wealth happening from the oldest Americans to their middle-aged children that is, in many cases, the only thing keeping the latter in their homes.
Funny nobody talks about this.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Real Heart of America
Here's Robert X. Cringely's nomination for "person of the year". I'm a little late on this, but it is still timely: