The Jubilee

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  • December 2010
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About Bernanke’s 100% confidence…

Posted by Alex Krainer on December 17, 2010

On 5th December 2010, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gave an interview to 60 minutes. The whole thing seemed like a choreographed show, but this exchange with 60 minutes’ interviewer Scott Pelley took me aback:

Scott Pelley: “You have what degree of confidence in your ability to control this?”
Bernanke: “One hundred percent.”

If there is one thing I’m 100% sure about is that Bernanke doesn’t really believe what he’s saying – he just needs the rest of us to believe it. Then last night I came across the most recent reports from Societe Generale’s Albert Edwards who had this to say:

Very little surprises me anymore in this business. But even I was surprised by Ben Bernanke’s comment on CBS’s “60 minutes” that he has “100% confidence” that he can act quickly to stop inflation getting out of control. Surely if there is one thing Ben Bernanke should be 100% confident about, it is his own fallibility. Remember this is the man who was not only adamant that US house prices would not decline, but refuted the very notion that there was even a house price bubble in the first place! I realise these guys have to pretend that they know what they are doing, but you would have thought that, having been at the epicentre of the biggest economic and financial crash since the 1930s, he would show a little humility and uncertainty. Apparently not.

It would be amusing to add here the brief video collection of Bernanke’s statements from 2005 and through 2007, but YouTube unfortunately removed it due to copyright infringment (I thought the Chairman’s statements would be public domain?)

Well, let’s hope his 60 Minutes performance won’t come back to haunt him.


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