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October 12, 2022

Wednesday Morning Rant [Joe Mannix]


Ignoble Prizes

The United States added another clutch of Nobel Laureates to its ranks this weekend. Some of these might even be worth being proud of since they included physics and chemistry. The others were not. In another area, the Nobel Committee has continued its rich history of beclowning itself. The same organization that handed out Peace Prizes to terrorists like Yassar Arafat, climate alarmists like Al Gore, enthusiastic warmakers like Barack Obama and the Economics prize to cretins like Paul Krugman remains true to form.

This year, the Committee saw fit to award the Nobel Prize in Economics to - along with two other co-winners - Ben Bernanke, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. They awarded him the prize "for research on banks and financial crises." It is to be expected at this point, I suppose. If you're down with Big Power and move the ball for them effectively, you're a candidate for a Peace or Economics Prize. If you can do that while hurting normal people, you're a shoe-in.

What did Ben Bernanke accomplish during the global financial crisis and its aftermath? He accomplished rather a lot, but it wasn't good. He first behaved erratically - saving some big Wall Street outfits while letting others die and stoking more market panic. Then he and his buddy Hank Paulson at Treasury (who, oddly, didn't manage to win a Nobel Prize) held the US government and citizens hostage and demanded trillions of dollars or else there would be tanks in the streets.

But that was just the opening act. He ground down interest rates to zero and then kept them there for the rest of his tenure. He introduced Quantitative Easing and printed gobs of money to help out his pals in the financial system and the government. He monetized US federal debt and enabled the US government to execute its takeover of the student loan business, maintain and expand its stake in the US housing finance market, expand its proxy control of the US medical industry and make various gigantic spending bills like the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" possible. His interest rate regime and bailout policies created perverse incentive and moral hazard across the economy. His every act increased state power and hurt normal Americans.

The median American worker made little to no real wage progress during Bernanke's tenure while the labor participation rate fell through his term and the term of his successor who is now the Secretary of the Treasury. While he was engineering bubbles and propping up the financial sector, he disregarded the decay of the real economy under his watch or even called it a good thing. He's like Gentle Ben, if the bear had eaten the little boy. But don't worry about being collateral damage - the Top Men in Stockholm know best. They recognize his greatness.

One day, getting the Nobel Prize in Economics or the Nobel Peace Price will have the correct result: it will bring shame to your family and nation.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:00 AM

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