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On February 20, 2004 Ben Bernanke gave one of the most remarkable speeches of his lengthy Fed career; he served at the Fed from 2002-2005 and 2006-2014.  He claimed "improvements in monetary policy, though certainly not the only factor, have probably been an important source of the Great Moderation."  (1)  The Great Moderation was a term economists and central bankers came up with to e

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With markets heaving - futures are currently limit down at 5% - there will be widespread calls for the Fed to 'do something.'  Lost in this Pavlovian response for Fed succor is the realization that today's chaos is a direct result of the Fed interfering in markets in completely unprecedented ways.  Alan Greenspan's term at the Federal Reserve was a watershed in this country's history.  Prior to

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One of the best scenes in a movie, "Jaws," full of them is the confrontation between the salty Captain Quint, played by Robert Shaw and the PhD oceanographer, Matt Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss.  The exchange is prompted by a fish - which Hooper had earlier and erroneously dismissed as a 'gaming fish' and not the killer great white shark they were after - biting through a steel piano wire

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One of the signature moments of the Federal Reserve's complete ignorance of the enormous housing and credit bubble that was metastasizing under its collective nose was an interview Ben Bernanke gave in July 2005.  At the time, people had already started to discuss the possibility of a housing bubble.  Indeed, housing, in terms of homeownership, peaked over one year earlier, in April 2004.  (See

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Ben Bernanke fancies himself as an economic super-hero.  Given his leading economic role in the years immediately leading up to the crisis - he was a member of the Fed's open market committee (FOMC) from 2002-2006 and Fed chairman 2006-2014 - this is a pretty remarkable conclusion for Bernanke to reach.  In his defense, he has heard nothing but praise from the financial media who universally ha

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