Monday, June 1, 2009

Who's On First?

Are Bernanke and Geithner attempting a remake of the Abbott and Costello Who's On First routine?

Think about this. On Friday, the Fed wants to signal the markets that they are not trying to control long rates. This may be a lie, just to calm the markets. So who do they choose to leak this possible lie to? CNBC's Liesman.

On Sunday, they follow up this bull with pretty much the same leak to FT's Alister Bull.

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Geithner, while in China named David Dollar the Economic and Financial Emissary to China. So now when the Chinese say, "We always welcome Dollars ," do we really know if they are referring to the currency, or the new Emissary's family?

Of course, what the U.S. is really trying to do to China and the rest of the world is the old Abbott and Costello Two Tens for a Five routine. Which will probably end for the U.S. and the world the same way the routine did.

UPDATE: We have a contest suggestion from Bob Murphy. See his comment under this post. I am going to run with his suggestion.

Anyone interested in submitting a skit based on the above, please forward it to me at my email address, I will post the winner of the skit (Determined by me.) and split 50/50 all advertising revenue that comes to that post.


  1. This is awesome. You should offer an award of some kind to the reader who sends in the best actual skit. E.g.

    Geithner: I leaked the story to Liesman.

    Bernanke: Wait a second, what did you just say?

    Geithner: Liesman.

    Bernanke: I know you told him lies, of course we agreed to tell bull.

    Geithner: No, we gave Bull all the lies about China.

    Bernanke: Huh? I thought that's what Dollar was for!

    Etc. This could seriously be a classic. You would get a million hits if done properly, and you wouldn't even need to write it. Just offer something decent as a prize for the reader with the best submission.

    The key of course would be to come up with the best analog for "I know---First Base!"

  2. You could get some great mileage out of using names (Dollar, Bull, Liesman, etc) by staling from either Mel Brooks' "Last Supper" scene from "History of the World Part I" (Jesus, Judas, et al) or Peter Graves' handling of telephone calls in Airplane!

  3. Hmm I don't know how to view your offer. If it were Brad DeLong's blog, I know there would be some serious money on the line...

  4. @ Bob Murphy

    The offer is as good as your skit.

    If you make them laugh, they will find it.