At the same time, the longer-run health of the economy requires that the Federal Reserve be vigilant in preserving its hard-won credibility for maintaining price stability.My thoughts: Ha!! Credibility for maintaining price stability? The dollar has lost over 95% of its purchasing power since the Fed was created. That is called failure!!
Mish Shedlock provides some usefully commentary.
Bernanke did everything possible to mitigate his role and the Fed's role in this crisis. His unmitigated gall comes through loud and clear with this bald-faced lie:source
"The Federal Reserve's actions in recent years have doubtless helped stabilize the financial system, ease credit and financial conditions, guard against deflation, and promote economic recovery. All of this has been accomplished, I should note, at no net cost to the federal budget or to the U.S. taxpayer."
For starters, were it not for the complete ineptitude of the Greenspan and Bernanke Fed the US would not be in this mess in the first place. Second, there most assuredly is a cost to the Fed's policies.
Prices are higher, wages are not. Banks were bailed out at taxpayer expense. The Fed pays interest on reserves. That interest comes from taxpayers. The Fed's balance sheet is loaded to the gills with garbage from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Fed is not at risk on that garbage because Congress approved unlimited backing for GSE debt. That unlimited backing is over $300 billion and counting. Those losses are not all on the Fed's balance sheet of course. However let's not ignore the Fed's role in getting Congress to pass that blatantly stupid bill.
Let's also not forget the Fed cheerleading fiscal stupidity in Congress, not wanting Congress to do anything about monstrous deficits now. Keynesian and Monetarist clowns never want to do anything now. They always want to do it at the "appropriate" time, which in practice means never.
Most importantly I would like to point out the very real cost of those on fixed income, attempting to get by with higher food prices, higher gasoline prices, etc. I dare Ben Bernanke to face senior citizens and tell them there is no cost associated with interest rates at 0%.
In case you missed it please read Hello Ben Bernanke, Meet "Stephanie". That post is about the plight of those on fixed incomes struggling to get by with rising costs and CD rates at 1%.
Finally, there is an unseen cost to the stupidity of Bernanke's policies. That unseen cost is the cost associated with fostering still more speculation in the financial markets. There is another bubble in the stock market, another bubble in junk bonds, and another bubble in commodities.
We have yet to feel the ramifications when those bubble pop, and they will. Bernanke cannot see those bubbles for the same reason he could not see the bubble in housing, the bubble in credit, the rapidly rising unemployment rate, and countless other things he missed.
Bernanke is a complete fool, trapped in academic wonderland, completely oblivious as to how the real world works. To top it off, Bernanke has the gall to knowingly lie about the real world effects of his blatant stupidity.
Ben Bernanke, you are disgusting.