Tuesday, February 8, 2011

If Congress Investigated Bernanke as Closely as They Are Meredith Whitney, Bernanke Would Be in Jail

I simply find incredible the heat MSM and politicos are putting on Meredith Whitney for her warnings about the municipal bond market. There's a distinct possibility, and I have said this right from the start, that she may be a little off on the timing of her warnings, but she is dead on that the debt problems at federal, state and local levels are serious---and serious players know this.

Yet, the attack continues. Here is NYT today:
Ms. Whitney is also drawing scrutiny from Washington, where a Congressional panel will meet on Wednesday to examine the turmoil in the muni bond market, including whether Ms. Whitney’s call has fed the volatility and allowed some investors to profit unfairly.

Citing scheduling conflicts, Ms. Whitney has declined an invitation to appear before the panel of the House Oversight and Government Reform. But the subcommittee’s chairman, Representative Patrick T. McHenry, Republican of North Carolina, said that would not dissuade him from investigating her record.

“This isn’t a gotcha thing, but she’s going to be part of the hearing, whether or not she participates,” he said. “If she doesn’t want to come forward in a venue like this, that makes a statement.”
As I have said before, Whitney is very wise in not appearing before the attack dogs in Congress, who are indeed playing "gotcha". The investigation that should be going on is to see who is encouraging McHenry to conduct this hearing.

Let me repeat, Whitney may be a bit early on her forecast, but she is nothing but heroic for warning muni bond investors about the dangers in the municipal bond sector. Yet, the attacks continue. Even from the Columbia Journalism Review! Writes CJR:
Bloomberg News lands some real blows on analyst Meredith Whitney in a terrific story this morning.

Whitney, famously—or infamously—went on 60 Minutes in December and predicted that fifty to a hundred “sizable” cities and counties would go bust, defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars of municipal bonds....
CJR even hints this is a special attack on Whitney (though they love it):
Whitney gives them an embarrassing interview that includes these gems of jibberish:

“Quantifying is a guesstimate at this point,” she said. “I was giving an approximation of a magnitude that will bear out to be correct“…

“A lot of this is, You know it, but can you prove it?” Whitney said Jan. 30 over a breakfast of scrambled egg whites with a chicken-apple sausage, a side of salsa and peppermint tea at the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. “There are fifth-derivative dimensions that I don’t think I need to spell out to my clients,” she said.

Uh huh. Some analysis.

A technical aside: I love that Bloomberg puts these nonsensical quotes in here. A lot of reporters would have passed them over for something that makes sense to the reader. I know I’ve done it. In that sense, we present a false picture of sources, making them look smarter and better than they really are. The smart thing to do here was to show how the source can’t talk straight.
Of course, while Bloomberg discloses the supposed defects in Whitney's presentations skills, the real cheats and liars continue to on their merry way without a hint of concern from politicos (except for Ron Paul) and MSM.

Just weeks before Whitney appeared on 60 Minutes, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was on the same program, and outright lied. He told 60 Minutes:
One myth that's out there is that what we're doing is printing money. We're not printing money. The amount of currency in circulation is not changing. The money supply is not changing in any significant way.
Where is the concern about this lie versus a possible timing inaccuracy in a Whitney forecast? Bernanke should be thrown in jail for what he has done to the economy, yet MSM remains silent on his comments. The price inflation problem that is going to heat up in coming months is a serious problem, yet there is no coverage of the Bernanke lie that is a clear cover-up of what he is up to.

It would be difficult to find a more clear cut case of how politicos, and MSM, protect the elite and pile on those who attempt to speak truth to power, than the difference in the way Whitney is being treated versus Bernanke.

1 comment:

  1. Bernanke mat be right maybe they are not printing Money just issuing digital dollars . Not quite the same thing but does have the same effect