One of the greatest con jobs in history was convincing ordinary people that Central Bankers care about the “economy” or Main Street.
Aside from the complete lack of relevance that Main Street has for Central Bankers from a professional perspective (more on this in a moment), when do you think was the last time that Janet Yellen or her ilk spent an evening with non-banker/financial types? Years ago? Decades ago?
Yellen lives in a super-affluent, gated part of Washington DC. And even within that subset of the US population she lives in a higher echelon: her entourage of security annoys her wealthy neighbors… though I suspect part of the annoyance stems from jealousy.
Regarding professional significance… why would Janet Yellen care about ordinary people? They’re just data points in her financial models. Ordinary people didn’t place her at the Fed (the big banks did). And they didn’t place her as Fed Chair (the financial/ political elite did… with the express intent of gaining future favors).
Think of it this way… imagine there was a super cartel of English Professors who controlled what words you or I could use in daily conversation. These individuals literally could change the structure of the human language if they wanted… removing words or adding words at random.
Now imagine that they randomly pick out a low level English Professor who they elevate to being the face of their organization. Do you think this professor would give a damn about how her decisions/ words affected speech? She literally was made one of the most powerful people in the world by this cartel.
This is case worldwide. Most Central Bankers came up from the Too Big To Fails or Primary Dealers (or they are academics like Yellen or Bernanke who get their first taste of the “real world” when they’re literally running the financial system).
Literally their entire personal net worth… their professional clout… and their sense of accomplishment was derived from working at these organizations.
And somehow they’re supposed to give a hoot about Joe the Plumber or Bob the Boilermaker? They don’t even deal with those people face to face when they have a problem with their homes. “Hello this is Mario Draghi… the man who controls the currency in your economy… could you please come fix the sink?”
This is why Yellen, Draghi and the like can say with a straight face that maintaining ZIRP or NIRP benefits the economy. It’s why they can spent trillions to bail out/prop up banks without batting an eyelid. It’s why no one who committed fraud went to jail. It’s why lying and cheating in the financial system is allowed… even applauded… because the ones lying and cheating are the same people who picked out/ promoted the regulators.
And this is why we’re heading for another Crisis… one that will be even bigger than 2008. The fraud that caused 2008 was not solved. Instead it was allowed to spread into the public sector. Today most Central Banks are sporting leverage ratios that would put Lehman Brothers (pre-crisis) to shame.
So the next time something breaks in the financial system… it won’t be just individual banks going belly up. It will be entire countries. What’s happened in Cyprus and Greece is coming to your neighborhood… wherever you are.
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