Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s apologetic take on the Fed’s negative role in causing the Great Depression may translate into a willingness to bail out Europe, writes economics blogger James Pethokoukis.
Bernanke will not be willing to let the European Central Bank’s ineffectiveness infect U.S. banks and destroy the global economy.
He points to statements from well-known independent economist Ed Yardeni to elaborate on that idea:
Given the ECB’s reluctance to act, I suspect that the Fed will spearhead the formation of a Global Liquidity Facility (GLF) to avert a global financial meltdown. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke demonstrated that he is a master at putting together such emergency measures back in 2008. In effect, it would act as the world’s central bank. Mr. Bernanke is clearly very worried about the prospect that the European sovereign debt crisis is a contagion that could spread to the US, as evidenced by his bizarre town hall meeting with troops returning from Iraq on November 10. The GLF would receive deposits from the Fed and other participating central banks, including the ECB. The funds would be used to buy the bonds of debt-challenged governments that would be required to accept strict supervision of their fiscal and regulatory policies by the IMF.
Regardless of Bernanke’s avowed commitment to save the United States from a repeat of the Great Depression, the political will to truly prop up the rest of the world doesn’t seem to exist in the U.S.
If Congress is breathing down the Fed’s neck, just wait until the “U.S. taxpayer” is absorbing the fiscal profligacy of Italy and Greece.
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