The Closet Moderate: On Bernanke

Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Bernanke

The CM roundtable on reconfirming Bennie B., executive summary:

Silent Cal:

I think he's well-qualified, but more important is that re-confirming him strengthens the Fed's independence. If Obama were to bow to extremists' demands in Congress, it would result in a Fed that was less bank and more an arm of the government. Take a look at Venezuala if you want to know what that would be like.


Its hard to evaluate Bernanke. We didn't go into the Great Depression, thanks at least in part to his various good and unorthodox moves, but we are in a pretty serious recession, which he might in theory be able to alleviate with further (purportedly) good and unorthodox moves. So hating on him is kind of like Will Smith being prejudiced against robots because, when he was drowning, a robot chose to save him instead of the girl who was also drowning.

Harold Lasswell:

I was just going to say that he deserves the job simply by virtue of his nickname, Banke...

Fake Steve Hawking:

I'm generally in favor. My impression is the man is smart, and generally agenda-free. I'm a sucker for a good technocrat.


As much as I love deflation on a personal selfish level, I am a fan of [Milton] Friedman. And since Ben is too, I'll give him a thumbs up.


I'm broadly in agreement with Waldorf, but I'll also cop to having most of my ideas on this issue defined by Matt Yglesias.

Stealth Democracy is a great book about how we all want a government that governs in our best interests, not its own. That's why Obama's "the best people from whichever party" rhetoric and transition were widely admired. But the fact that government looks out for its own interests, and underneath that umbrella, the interests of various factions within it is also the root of a lot of the frustration with government that defines conservative values. As the past administration admirably demonstrated, government is government is government. You should appoint qualified people, but you should really try to appoint qualified people who share your goals.


Kneel before Szod!


Fake Steve Hawking said...

Looks like all the senate needs was our seal or approval.

Statler said...

There's only one acceptable title for posts involving BB, and that's "Bernanke Panky."