A Must See Interview of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke

March 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Economics

federal_reserveIf you watched tonight’s extended 60 Minutes interview of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, good for you.  If you didn’t – and if you care anything about the future of our economy – I strongly encourage you to watch it.  This is a rare event. Fed Chairmen just never do press interviews.  Bernanke is making a rare exception for these special times in our economy.

Bernanke comes off as a sincere and honest spokesman for the Fed’s economic recovery strategies.  There is none of the spin, grandstanding, and buck-passing we so often experience when a politician or Wall Streeter is speaking about what should be done.  (Bernanke never worked on Wall Street.)  In fact, if we can keep economic know-nothings like President Obama, Jim Cramer, Joe Biden, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd away from the microphones and let Bernanke speak instead, confidence may arrive much sooner.

I have embedded the video in two parts.  If you have the time, watch all of both of them.  Each is about 13 minutes long.  If you want to hit the highlights, I have listed my favorite parts below each segment along with the corresponding time markers. (If you are receiving this by feed reader or email, you may have to click back to my site to watch the videos.) Also, I apologize for the 30 second commercials at the beginning of each video – I have no control over that.

Part 1 of the Bernanke Interview:

1:45 – Predicts an “end of the decline” in economic conditions this year.

2:30 – Bernanke thinks that Fed action has averted a complete depression although not by much. 

5:15 – Bernanke expresses his extreme displeasure at the “unconscionable bets” placed by serial bailout recipient AIG.  You go Ben!

8:01 – Acknowledges that the Fed has been “effectively” printing money by expanding the accounts of client banks on the Fed’s balance sheet.

9:45 – Accuses Fed (originally formed in 1907) of actually causing the Great Depression by tightening the money supply and by allowing thousands of banks to fail.

10:24 – Tries to explain why some institutions have received multiple bailout packages.

12:15 – Makes a commitment that the Fed will not let any large financial institution fail traumatically.

Part 2 of the Bernanke Interview

7:30 – Acknowledges mistakes made by Fed and others, and particularly points fingers and poor investment of billions injected into our economy by investors and savers from China, east Asia, and the oil producing states.

9:25 – Bernanke is asked to explain how Fed could have prevented the Great Depression as well as our current mess.

11:35 – Explains that a key sign of economic recovery will be when a large bank receives an infusion of private equity.

Overall, an excellent job by the interviewer and by Bernanke.  I wish he had commented on how the actions of his predecessor might have have played a role in what we are now experiencing.  I’m guessing that he was asked but he refused to take the bait.  

I hope that you take the time to watch and enjoy.

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3 Responses to “A Must See Interview of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke”
  1. Thanks for posting these…I’ll definitely take a look at them when I have time. None of the programs I’d like to watch — such as 60 Minutes — every come on when I’m anywhere near a television set.

    BTW and a propos of little: LOVE your site design!

    • Funny: You definitely should watch Bernanke. His sincerity actually gave me some optimism that there are some people up in government who may know what they are doing with the economy. And thanks for the nice words about my new site design.

  2. SJ says:

    Thanks for posting it too! This was interesting to watch. Go sincerity I hope…
    Also wow, he’s the 4th most powerful person according to wiki/newsweek.

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