Brothers in arms Timmy G. and Ben B. will stand for each other ’til the end. In an interview with Politico, Timmy boy warned that the financial markets would react negatively, Armageddon will come and there will be locust showers if Ben isn’t confirmed.
So there you go. He warned you. In the meantime, there’s no word from Ben supporting Tim in anticipation of his testimony, Wednesday about his (non-)involvement in the AIG saga.
Neither Warren Buffett nor myself think or want it to come to this (the sex machine and I like our Fed Chairmen soft-spoken, bearded, and outfitted by Jos A. Bank) but some people– Barbara Boxer, Byron Dorgan, Russ Feingold– have forced our hand. In the event Benj is not in fact confirmed, who should take over his post? And what would the Beard do next? Back to playing D&D with his academics? We already know Greenspan’s rescinded his letters of recommendation for the cushy lecture circuit on account of Bernankle’s attempt to pin some of the blame for the shit that’s gone down on The Maestro.
And suck it, Gretchen Morgenson. Here’s the real man of the year.
Master of risk who did God’s work for Goldman Sachs but won it little love [FT]
Yesterday, Time named Ben Bernanke Person of Year. This news didn’t sit right with country reporter Charlie Gasparino. Any old hobo would’ve been a better choice, but as luck would have it, Chaz has someone in particular in mind, who is more deserving of the award. And that, CG says, is Charlie Gasparino.
Of Senators who are under the impression that The Beard’s last name is ‘Ber-na-ke’. Obviously this will be added to throughout the day.
* Sen. Richard Shelby
* Sen. Chris Dodd (really?)
Well, here’s a fun twist to Sen. Chris Dodd’s proposal to castrate the Federal Reserve: Big Ben Bernanke is set to travel to the Hill at some point after Thanksgiving for a few rounds with the gentleman from Connecticut, who heads the committee considering Bernanke’s renomination as chairman of the soon-to-be-inconsequential Fed.
Now, Dodd is saying all the right things, telling Bernanke he’s “doing a terrific job” and that his bid to give most of the Fed’s power to others is “not about individuals and personalities.” But then he turns around and says Ben’s Boys have been an “abysmal failure” when it comes to regulating banks.
One of Bernanke’s minions has already spoken out against doing anything to trim the Fed’s authority, with the Kansas City branch warning that messing with the F.R. “could lead to delays or second-guessing of supervisory recommendations and greater political interference.” And it was talking about Rep. Barney Frank’s proposals for financial regulation reform, which don’t go nearly as far as Dodd’s in cutting the Fed down to size.
The Fed Chairman and Treasury Secretary at a recent Nationals game. What do you think they talked about?
Why didn’t Ken Lewis tell Bank of America shareholders that the company they were acquiring was set to report an imperial asston of losses for the fourth quarter, information that would’ve been more useful to them before the deal went through, rather than after? ‘Cause Paulson and Bernanke shoved him in the trunk of a Buick, took him to an undisclosed location and suggested in no uncertain terms he keep his trap shut, that’s why! According to testimony from the Bank of America CEO’s February sit down with Andrew Cuomo, Lewis was “urged to keep quiet while the two sides negotiated government funding to help BofA absorb Merrill and its huge losses,” apparently for the good of the financial system and the country, and since he *is* head of America’s Bank, K the the L felt urged to comply (plus the bit about harm to his body if he failed to do so).
Q: Were you instructed not to tell your shareholders what the transaction was going to be?
A: I was instructed that ‘We do not want a public disclosure.’
Q: Who said that to you?
Q: Had it been up to you would you [have] made the disclosure?
A: It wasn’t up to me.
Q: Had it been up to you.
A: It wasn’t.
Oh, and there was also the matter of Paulson threatening to take Lewis out (of office) if he didn’t do exactly as he was told.