Senator Tom Harkin told the Des Moines Register and Radio Iowa today that he will vote against confirming Ben Bernanke to another term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Radio Iowa quoted him as saying he’s “tired of being held hostage by Wall Street”:
“I just think Mr. Bernanke is going to continue the policy of The Fed of taking care of the big financial institutions and to heck with Main Street,” Harkin says.
Harkin faults Bernanke for the handling of the Wall Street bailout. “Mr. Bernanke gave away trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to AIG at almost zero percent interest rate, and then they turned around and they held their counterparties – French, Germans, Swiss and many others – harmless. They didn’t have to take a hair cut at all,” Harkin says, “They got paid off in full and yet we (taxpayers) lost trillions.” […]
“I’ve had it with being told that some bank is too big to fail and I’ve had it with being told that someone, some person is so important that we have to have that person in this position. That’s nonsense,” Harkin says.
Looks like someone didn’t get the memo about “our mild-mannered economic overlord” saving the country. Good for Harkin.
Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Grassley told the Des Moines Register, “I think I made a decision [on Bernanke] […] But I don’t think I’ll announce it.” Grassley went on to criticize the Fed for doing too little to fight inflation, suggesting we could be on a path to hyper-inflation like we had in 1979.
With unemployment at a 26-year high, I’m surprised Grassley is so concerned about hyper-inflation. Economists, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t deflation a greater risk right now?