It’s a big cliche that when the chairman of the Federal Reserve says anything in public the markets swoon, trying to divine The Great Man’s meaning. Today the tea-leaf readers were focused on Dallas, where Fed chair Ben Bernanke addressed nearly 1,600 at a luncheon meeting of the Dallas Regional Chamber.
First Bernanke read a 14-page speech off a Teleprompter.
He said while things are looking better economically, we’re not quite out of the woods yet; a clampdown is needed on too-big-to-fail financial outfits; and that, long-term, the country will have to tame the deficit by raising taxes or cutting spending or both.
Then he took a couple of questions and said it would be good if banks started lending again.
Now, just about everybody says Bernanke is doing a stellar job as chairman.
But I noted in the program where he served as chairman of W’s council of economic advisers from 2005-2006, before taking over as chairman of the Fed, where he’d previously served on the board of governors from 2002 to 2005.
In other words: he’s prescribing solutions these days for the mess he helped create, right?
Not that anybody seems to care–and they’ve probably got the right idea.
Exiting the luncheon businessman Albert Black told some friends with a laugh: “I took notes. He said, ‘Get back out there and make some money.’ “