“A hero to his own” – such is the NYT headline about Bernanke.
“Fellow economists, however, are heaping praise on Mr. Bernanke for his bold actions and steady hand in pulling the economy out of its worst crisis since the 1930s. Tossing out the Fed’s standard playbook, Mr. Bernanke orchestrated a long list of colossal rescue programs: Wall Street bailouts, shotgun weddings, emergency loan programs, vast amounts of newly printed money and the lowest interest rates in American history.”
There is a marvelous, sinister beauty to the phrase, for indeed, what is more indicative of the great American sloth and slide than what the “own” is – who they are, where they come from, and what, exactly, they own. Well, the last question is answered the quickest. You. Me. The future. The fouled atmosphere. The acidified oceans. That is the ‘own’, all right. In the mere 10,000 some years that homo sapiens went from painting beautiful portraits of nobler animals on the walls of miserable caves to being ruled by the misbegotten sons of bitches in business suits that make up the 100 thousand or so human beings who really count on the planet – the ones whose every bowel movement should be plasticized and put in museums for us little ones to bow down to – there have been few heros as grotesque as Bernanke. This is the man who encouraged, with might and main, the financialization of the American economy for the benefit of the .01 percent; this is the man who, in August 2007, displayed to the world his view of the Fed, ie that it existed to bubble the equities market; this is the deviser of all the sinister off the book entities that are even now pumping money to the tentacled horrors of Wall Street; this is the great I am that other suits will celebrate at Jackson Hole, which will certainly not be a town hall meeting.
The article reeks of a triumph that might puzzle the ordinary putz. After all, in the putzosphere, the “own” has gone missing – the credit card limits are burned, the house value is heading towards an equilibrium with bird and doghouses, the car is officially a clunker, the unemployment rate is slowing not because businesses are hiring but because unemployed workers, discouraged, have ceased looking for work – doubtless the labor department thinks they have vanished into the air. The dominos of state government debt and the cuts that are going to add to that pool are just starting to fall. And of course the stock market, the holy of holies for the owners, is down considerably from what it was in 2000, marking this as the first decade since the 30s in which this financial fact has happened – happened right in the rectum of all those suited minions.
But to think what could have happened, what bonuses could be unrewarded for the expenditure of the most sterile labor ever to be rewarded with king’s ransoms – is to shudder. Yes, the ‘own’ don’t like that. Who, after all, is the economy for?
To think that this hero – a hero in this Alice in Wonderland world of pseudo-democracy and the most miserably stupid, illiterate, time wasting oligarchy ever to disgrace the pages of world history, an oligarchy whose monuments are Dubai, Las Vegas, and the creeping death of the Arctic permafrost – could possibly be doubted hurts the Business section’s feelings. So fucked up is this moment that Bernanke’s competitor for the Fed position seems to be… Larry Summers!
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