Home > The Economics Profession > The man who completely missed the housing bubble and was convinced financial disruption would be restricted to the subprime market deserves two seven-figure sinecures?

The man who completely missed the housing bubble and was convinced financial disruption would be restricted to the subprime market deserves two seven-figure sinecures?

from Dean Baker

I hate to be picking on Matt O’Brien again, but come on, this is setting the bar pretty goddamn low. He began a piece reporting on a consulting gig that Bernanke will have the bond fund Pimco by telling readers:

“If anyone deserves two seven-figure sinecures, it’s Ben Bernanke.”

I won’t go over the full indictment of Ben Bernanke and will give him credit for a reasonably good job trying to boost the economy post-crash in the wake of the outraged opposition of the right-wing, but let’s get real. The housing bubble and ensuing crash were not natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

The bubble was the result of bad policy. It is the Fed’s responsibility to prevent harmful bubbles whose crash will disrupt the economy. While Bernanke only took over as Fed chair in January of 2006, after the bubble had already grown to very dangerous levels, he was sitting at Greenspan’s side at the Fed through most of the process. (He did head over for a brief stint as head of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers.) Through this whole period was completely dismissive of those who raised concerns about the bubble and junk loans that were fueling it.

This incredible negligence has had a devastating cost for tens of millions of people in the United States and around the world. And for this he deserves two-seven figure sinecures? This sounds like a case of the soft bigotry of incredibly low expectations.

  1. charlie
    May 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    more people need to say this on Fox … fat chance that

  2. Ack Nice
    May 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    a lot of people think Bernanke, Greenspan, Summers and their ilk should be put behind bars, in jail. I think we should take them out to the middle of a famous bridge somewhere and make them pull their pants down around their knees and bend over and have a citizen’s brigade file past with switches to redden their naked bums but good.

    Because nobody would EVER forget that spectacle. I’d almost bet the wealthpower giants and the pols who carry their water for them would prefer jail…

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