Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bennie and the Babes

No wonder, Bernanke isn't flying his helicopter or his jets, he has discovered luxury and babes. Is this what happens to all Fed chairman? I remind you dead fish personality Alan Greenspan (Ayn Rand gave him the nickname "The Undertaker") landed Andrea Mitchell. Not bad for a dead fish.

WaPo's Alan Kamen reports:

...when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who's been worried about the federal deficit, went to speak Oct. 19 at the San Francisco Fed conference on Asia and the global financial mess, he was obliged to travel to the spectacular Bacara Resort and Spa near Santa Barbara, where suites in high season can run up to $2,000 a night. (We're told the resort discounted the rooms -- it's off-season -- to a mere $300 a night, though it's unclear whether that included the primo suites.)...

Where better for conferees to worry about saving more than at the uber-swanky Bacara? A Fed spokesman told the Santa Barbara News-Press that The resort is a good venue for those flying from Asia to Los Angeles. It's a bit more than 90 miles away -- but the town cars make it seem oh-so-closer. And all that opulence offers a soothing distraction from spending the mornings fretting about the economic crisis.

"Like an intimate Mediterranean village," says the resort's Web site,"Bacara sprawls over 78 beachfront acres, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains." What's more, "every one of our 311 rooms and 49 specialty suites is like the rest of the resort: luxurious, understated, intimate and relaxed. Every room features a private patio or balcony."
Now you would think that most reporters would stop at this point busting Bernanke and his central bank cronies in ultra-luxury, but no. Kamen dug deeper:
The beautiful pool area might even have a topless section -- at least judging from the photo on the site of a woman lounging on a beach chair with a martini.
Ah yes, this is reporting.

It's not clear how much time Bernanke had to spend in the pool area to contemplate booms and busts, and what to do about them, since intrepid reporter Kamen discovered that Bernanke had to move on:
...on Friday he was off to speak to 100 more academics, policymakers and bank folks at the Boston Fed's annual economic conference. It wasn't exactly in Boston, which may not have had facilities to handle such an enormous crowd, but rather at the stunning Wequassett Inn on Cape Cod, only 90 miles from Logan Airport, where the best suite, in-season, lists for just $2,800. (This time of year it's only $1,860, while the really cheap rooms run $320 and nicer ones up to about a grand. Get the one with the fireplace on the deck.) We trust the Fed got a real deal here, too.

The resort's Web site begins with a "virtual tour" that modestly announces: "You have arrived." Pause. Pause. "We could tell you we are quite simply the finest resort on Cape Cod, but we wouldn't want to be guilty of understatement." It sits on 22 acres overlooking a splendid bay and marshes and calls itself a "secluded paradise for the discerning traveler."

What better place for Bernanke to hold forth against corporate "compensation plans that encourage, even inadvertently, excessive risk-taking can pose a threat to safety and soundness." The restaurant -- the menu, of course, doesn't list prices -- features "hand-blown glass chandeliers, nautical etchings, Limoges china and Riedel stemware" to provide an "atmosphere of eclectic style and quiet luxury."

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