A few months ago, I stated that Ben Bernanke was going to come under increased scrutiny and possibly even face legal trouble based on the fact that someone was going to take the fall for the bailout madness/ theft/ fraud that occurred from 2007-onward.
At the time I wrote:
First off, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has hired a criminal defense attorney… and not just any attorney, but Reid Weingarten… If Blankfein is under investigation and hiring someone of Weingarten’s caliber, a massive legal storm is about to begin on Wall Street. These lawsuits will involve the US Federal Reserve. And when push comes to shove, Blankfein (and other Wall Street executives who broke the law) will be blaming Bernanke and the Fed.
After all, the easiest defense is for Blankfein and his kind to simply say that they were pressured into defrauding investors and the public by Bernanke and the Fed when the financial system imploded in 2008.
Since I wrote this, things have indeed gotten hot for Bernanke. He’s now a verbal punching bag for virtually every GOP Presidential Candidate. And recent revelations by Bloomberg have shown that the Fed made secret bailouts to Wall Street to the tune of several TRILION Dollars.
As a result of this, Bernanke has gone into full-blown damage control mode, staging town-hall meetings and granting the press Q&A session (an unprecedented move), in a clear attempt to make himself appear more accessible and likeable to the public.
Indeed, things have gotten so heated that Bernanke even wrote a letter to policymakers defending the Fed and stating that the media’s [Bloomberg] recent reporting of the Fed’s actions contained “egregious errors.”
The significance of this CANNOT be overstated. This is a man who just a year or two ago was so arrogant of his power that he committed blatant perjury in front of Congress (the famed “debt monetization” lie)… NOW writing a letter to politicians whining about how unfair the media has been regarding his monetary actions.
This is a massive and I mean MASSIVE shift for Bernanke… and it underscores just how much the political environment has changed. Bernanke is politically toxic and he knows it. So expect him and his cronies to be much MUCH more attentive to how their moves appear to the public.
Which makes it all the more UN-likely that he’ll be able to unveil any major new policies/ QE 3 without some kind of systemic issue (a major bank going under, etc) happening first.
Consider the latest Fed move to lower the cost of borrowing US Dollars. First of all, the Fed acted with other central banks to implement this… so it was not the Fed acting alone. Secondly this move didn’t involve throwing the usual hundreds of billions of dollars around. Instead, all it did was lower the cost of borrowing Dollars.
This is a very reactive, more politically palatable move compared to the more aggressive actions of QE 1, QE lite, and QE 2. Indeed, even a brief overview of the Fed’s moves in 2011 show them to be largely symbolic or verbal in nature, especially compared to the Fed’s actions in 2010.
Which brings me back to one of my core themes for the future: that the Fed will NOT be able to act aggressively (if at all) without some systemic issue occurring first. Which means that the market and the bulls are completely misguided in believing the Fed’s about to unveil QE 3 or some major new policy any time soon… if at all.
So if you believe the Fed is coming to save the day for the EU… or the financial system in general… you’re in for a rude surprise. Indeed, if we look at the bond or credit markets, it’s clear we’re into a Crisis far greater than 2008. Forget the stock market rally. Stocks ALWAYS get it last (just like in 2008). And before the smoke clears on this mess we’re going to see sovereign defaults, bank holidays, riots, and more.
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