Ben Bernanke is insane.
I mean neither insane in a flippant sense, nor in the ordinary sense (as in plain nuts), but an even more insidious form of insanity, namely the insanity of one who cannot see the world as a place outside his own thoughts and beliefs.
I am speaking of the insanity of one who believes that all things can be reduced to a simple issue or pattern, the insanity of which Chesterton spoke in his essay The Maniac.
Indeed, all of Bernanke’s monetary policies and actions can be traced to his one core belief: that the US Federal Reserve didn’t do enough to stave off the Great Depression. Never mind that this belief is completely inaccurate (as the data clearly shows), it is the foundation of Bernanke’s entire academic and now monetary career. It is the lone road on his mental map of the world.
It doesn’t matter that the road is leading us all to disaster, for Bernanke there is simply no other course of action to take. In his mind, the Fed failed to act in the ‘30s and so he MUST act regardless of facts, data, or consequence.
Indeed, were any of us to point out to Bernanke that his claims regarding inflation (that it is contained), unemployment (that QE will help it), or economic growth (that we’re in a recovery) are all at complete odds with reality, his answer would be, “well, it would be much worse if I hadn’t acted.”
This is the hallmark of an insane argument. It is logic without common sense, reason taken to the absolute limit, unable to consider anything outside the confines of its own understanding. Bernanke will drive us all to ruin, pushing ever harder on the gas pedal and repeating, “I must act, I must act, I must act” under his breath in order drown out the cries of, “stop, you’ll kill us” from the 308+ million of us sitting in the backseat.
Indeed, the only ones whom Bernanke can hear are the Primary Dealer banks, all of whom slap him on the back and tell him he’s doing a great job. Bernanke is the nerd with a single skill the jocks currently find useful. And he’s mistaken their support for genuine admiration and camaraderie. He feels their hands slapping his back and doesn’t notice the “kick me” sign they’ve installed there.
And herein lies the great irony of Ben Bernanke and his academic theories. The Primary Dealer banks, who pull the real strings at the Fed and who are only interested in making money (not theories), will use him and his misguided beliefs to serve themselves for as long as the benefits of said theories, namely hundreds of billions in free money, outweigh the risks (public outrage), just like all capitalists do when considering an investment.
However, once Bernanke’s policies bring the US public to a true boil, the puppet masters will discard their Chairman and his misguided theories like an old, broken toy. They’ll make a human sacrifice of him, pinning the blame for the collapse of the US Dollar and the US’s descent into 3rd world status on his slouched academic shoulders right next to the “kick me” sign. For when the public wants blood, it will be Bernanke