Tuesday, March 26, 2013
DECEMBER 13, 1953 – BIRTH OF BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
1953 – BIRTH OF BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
The Federal Reserve is a largely private system, despite the word “Federal” in its title. The 12 Regional Federal Reserve banks are private (e.g. Fed banks appear in the business not government pages of phone books and its employees are not on the government payrolls).
Bernanke said on May 17, 2007:
"All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system. The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well. Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable." Less than 1 year later, the housing market collapsed.
On October 31, 2007 he stated:
"It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions."
Turned out the Fed provided $1.2 trillion in secret loans to many of the nation’s biggest banks from 2007-9 which allowed them to grow even bigger. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/secret-fed-loans-undisclosed-to-congress-gave-banks-13-billion-in-income.html
This bail out of Wall Street by the Fed was not accompanied by any bail out of Main Street (small businesses) or the side streets (homeowners). The Fed served its constituents – banks.