This whole Brexit deal is the kind of unprecedented crisis fodder that makes common men shudder with terror of the unknown, crying out in the dark for answers to questions like "Did Clive from Northwallaceandgromitshire just f@ck my 401K?"
Luckily, there is one man to turn to when you're not sure if what you're looking at is a crisis or not. One man who spent his youth studying one financial crisis and years of his adulthood trying to solve another one in real time. One man who can look at a problem over breakfast with a Treasury Secretary and be like "This is baaad, yo."
That's right, Ben Bernanke is talking Brexit on BernankeBlog:
Even more obvious now than before the vote is that the biggest losers, economically speaking, will be the British themselves. The vote ushers in what will be several years of tremendous uncertainty—about the rules that will govern the U.K.’s trade with its continental neighbors, about the fates of foreign workers in Britain and British workers abroad, and about the country’s political direction, including perhaps where its borders will ultimately lie. Such fundamental uncertainty will depress business formation, capital investment, and hiring; indeed, it had begun to do so even before the vote.
Ben is thinking that a lot of you London bankers are about to find yourselves sipping a Doppelbock and saying "Allo Frankfurt!" while the price of your English home falls faster than Lehman Brothers stock under Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
As for the US...
In the United States, the economic recovery is unlikely to be derailed by the market turmoil, so long as conditions in financial markets don’t get significantly worse: The strengthening of the dollar and the declines in U.S. equities are relatively moderate so far. Moreover, the decline in longer-term U.S. interest rates (including mortgage rates) partially offsets the tightening effects of the dollar and stocks on financial conditions. However, clearly the Fed and other U.S. policymakers will remain cautious until the effects of the British vote are better sorted out.
Bernanke also opines that Japan looks rather good and screwed, bank stocks are getting creamed and the Fed is doing a good job providing central banks with Benjamins. What he's not seeing though is a full-blown crisis...yet:
As I’ve already suggested, the biggest risks to financial stability at this point appear to be political—specifically, the risk of further defections or breakdown in the European Union—rather than economic. The story may not be over yet.
And that story isn't over - Bernanke seem to thing - because the misguided nationalism that has revealed itself in Britain could be given room to grow across the Channel.
Immigration is unpopular in the U.K., and slowing it was a motivation for some “leave” voters, but a more slowly growing labor force likely would also reduce overall economic growth...
One issue that could be revisited is the EU’s commitment to the absolutely free movement of people across borders, which seems more a political than an economic principle; the perception that the U.K. had lost control of its borders was one of the most effective arguments for “leave,” and secessionist movements elsewhere have also seized on the issue.
That last thought came with a footnote, and that footnote is a relative doozy when it comes to the authorial voice of Ben Bernanke...
Britain has substantial immigration from both EU and non-EU countries. The debate over Brexit sometimes seemed to confound the two, even though only the former is protected by the EU treaties.
The phrasing there might be as close as we get to hearing Ben Bernanke say what he's been thinking for almost a decade now; "Come ON, you dummies, pay attention!"
Economic implications of Brexit [Bernanke Blog]