Bernanke's Arrogance Problem
Last night, the Fed chief trumpeted tax code changes and brushed off critics with his department’s typical over-confidence. Zachary Karabell on Bernanke’s desperate attempts at spin.
When Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve announced last month that it was initiating another round of $600 billion in “quantitative easing,” the reaction was swift and negative. The supposed profligacy of the Fed was yet another arrow in the Tea Party quiver and was used to support the contention that government spending is out of control. The international community was equally vociferous, with voices around the world slamming the Fed and Bernanke for devaluing the dollar while hypocritically claiming that the actions were simply meant to stabilize a fragile U.S. recovery.
Holiday Spending Spree: Where's the New Austerity?
In closing the books on 2010, the best that might be said was that it was better than 2009. This was a year that cemented a certain narrative of the past decade, one that has coalesced since the fall of 2008 and could be heard from the lips of everyone from Oprah to Obama: Americans had been living beyond their means, using their homes and cheap credit as a piggy bank, and with the Great Recession, the bill has come due. What lies ahead is years of belt tightening to compensate for those years of excess.