Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ben Bernanke's Father Is Losing His Mind

How bad does Ben Bernanke want to hold on to his position as Fed chairman? He has let some PR flack talk him into disclosing that he is spending quality time with his parents and that his father's "memory is starting to fade."

Writes NyPo's John Crudele:

BEN Bernanke is a very busy guy. But whenever the Federal Reserve chairman can retreat from the hubbub of Washington politics and the whirl of Wall Street finances he sneaks off to an assisted living facility in North Carolina to visit his parents, Philip and Edna. The Secret Service agents back off so the Fed chief, who yesterday presided over yet another uneventful meeting of his policy making committee, can have some quality time with his elderly parents.

Philip Bernanke's memory is starting to fade. And so their time together is probably precious to Ben, whose job comes up for renewal next January.

Now ask yourself, how does Crudele know this stuff? There are not many people that know the Secret Service agents back off when he visits his parents, and that Bernanke's father's mind is going.

This smells completely like a bad PR flacks idea of a good story. Paint Bernanke as Gentle Ben.

This is probably how it went down. New PR Flack sits down with Bernanke and says, "Tell me everything you do from the minute you get up in the morning." Eventually, PR flack learns about Bernanke's father and bingo, Bernanke is now Gentle Ben.

Note to new PR Flack: Wall Street really doesn't give a shit about Bernanke's father.

I have long claimed that Bernanke is tone deaf to Wall Street, and the fact that Bernanke is letting a PR flack get away with this nonsense, when all people (on Wall Street and Main Street) really care about is the economy, demonstrates just how tone deaf Bernanke is.

As for Crudele, who does write many interesting columns, we have lost him from tough reporting on Bernanke. The new PR flack has clearly gotten to him.

After word on Bernanke's father, Crudele tells us that:

So as the debate heats up over whether President Obama will continue to employ the Fed chairman in his current position, consider this: Bernanke might not want another term.
Yeah, right.

Then, of course, Crudele tells us that:

To be sure, Bernanke is the front-runner for another four-year term.
And then Crudele, like a good attack dog, lunges at Larry Summers:

The competition for the Fed chairmanship -- while not likely to be intense -- probably won't be a pillow fight either.

The guy in the Obama administration who is said to covet Bernanke's job is economics adviser Larry Summers.

A former Treasury Secretary for President Clinton, Summers not only made lots of enemies while president of Harvard (especially of the female variety) but is said to be widely disliked in many corners of the globe.

There's a photo circulating on the Internet of Summers doing a very credible imitation of a sleeping man during an important April 23 meeting with top credit-card officials.

But you can count on this: A political veteran, Summers won't be snoozing when the talks begin on Bernanke's tenure at the Fed.

Bernanke, for sure, is vulnerable.

But while he might not be doing everything right Bernanke is at least awake.


  1. I'd like to know who gave the initial leak regarding Paulson/Bernanke's heavy handedness on the Merrill/BOA deal. Then I'd like to follow its trail.

    That could be very telling of the political winds and waters. Did it come from Geithner and wind through Emanuel?

    It smells like a setup for a take down. As a knife wielding Rahm Emanual once said as he drove the tip into a wooden picnic table, "Dead!

  2. Yeah, PEU,

    I'm with you. It smells like a set up all the way. It could be a tag team of Geithner, Emanuel and Summers.