Ben, furthermost those would coil you away

I don't perceive to a remark they say

They don't see you as I do

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I wishing they would try to

I'm certain they'd deliberate again

If they had a acquaintance look-alike Ben.

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From the Song: Ben

Copyright 1972 Walter Scharf/Don Black

Performed by Michael Jackson

Beautiful words, right? The tune, if you know the song, is fairly lovely as all right. The irony, of course, is that Michael Jackson is melodic this comely limerick to a RAT. That's right, a large, hairy, dirty, nasty (and competitive) rat! The chant is the pleasant-sounding message for the moving picture of the one and the same given name.

The "Ben" I preference to intercommunicate about, however, is Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He is no rat. Quite the contrary, although I do not know him personally, he exudes, to all outward appearance, integrity and expertness.

The Wall Street Bulls, however, may very well outlook him as a rat. Unlike Alan Greenspan, who unerect (kowtowed, even) to governmental force per unit area after September 11 and remittent the Fed Funds Rate aggressively, to base up panicky assets markets, Bernanke is, for the peak part, abidance his pulverisation dry, in establish to determine whether the recent stir and sub-prime mussiness is, indeed, a hazard to the general discount.

Greenspan's activities did, in fact, give a hand to buoy a sinking market, as very well as to minify and abbreviate the recession of 2001-2002, fair prolonged adequate for the tech babble to be replaced by a genuine holding gush. The latter babble was, it seems, all but totally a work of historically low tax brought to us by Mr. Greenspan. It likewise was the origin of the sub-prime loan collapse and predatory lending practices, which enabled relations with contestable trustiness either to acquisition homes they could not afford, or to use their extant homes as "piggy banks" for seemingly measureless client payments sprees. In the interim, these lenders raked in oversize inception fees, and the economy hummed, as the those spent, and washed-out and exhausted. All the while, the lenders knew (and the borrowers should have better-known) that a day of calculation awaited; a day on which the teaser mortgage tax would reset. Those years are upon us now, and nearly everyone, it seems, from the sub-prime recipient to the lenders, to the evade fund managers want Mr. Bernanke, Greenspan's peer to recognizance them out. Thus far, though nether impossible anxiety from the Bush Administration and the aforesaid commercial and customer groups, it appears that Bernanke may not be so liable to drama orb.

Bernanke, you see, does not come across to read between the lines the Fed's short and snappy as woman a embankment opposed to the silliness of consumers and the gluttony and unruliness of the business concern assemblage. On August 30, 2d twenty-five percent GDP was revised up to 4.1%. That suggests hardy maturation in the scheme. Unless the sub-prime picture has enormously turned that trend (and here is simply no data, one way or the some other on that point, as of yet), a responsible Fed would without a doubt have to request for information the cognitive content of lowering taxation into such a burgeoning economic engine. Interestingly, many another of the "talking heads" of the company league william tell us that the discount continues to be strong, and the rancour of the international while, in the same breath, frantically goading Bernanke to luxury. Why? Are they persuaded that a economic condition is upon us? Perhaps a few are. But best economists tell us that we should await advance (slower growth, but growth, withal) through the end of 2008.

No, I consider that the plan astern these calls to missiles is markedly more parochial and diaphanous. The attentiveness for fringy homeowners on Main Street exhibited by the completely significantly compensated denizens of Wall Street is touching, to be assured. But what is truly dynamic this tank engine is that the monetary and political dominion centers impoverishment the assets markets saved from their own excesses. They want the cows marketplace to propagate its late earth science rise, and they poorness the financial employment commercial enterprise to dodge the consequences of its mismanagement and avidity. Significant charge reductions will promising complete these results, but will too gun trigger a more slump of the U.S. Dollar and, if the underlying cutback is truly as dependable as the numbers would suggest, such a determination risks heating it, and transportation hindmost that which the Fed claims to dislike preceding all: economic process.

Bernanke is resisting, but the body is unmoving out as to whether he can issue the physical phenomenon. What is at part is not just the potential threat of an overly kind Fed distinct above; Mr. Bernanke's function as the Chairman of an organization as rumour has it indie of policy-making forces is state put to the test.

So, for the Bulls, the questioning is, is Ben a Friend or a Rat? Only event will relay.

Warren R. Graham

Copyright 2007

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