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Welcome to Capital Account. Ben Bernanke was back on the hill today, in his second day of testimony before members of Congress for his Semi-Annual Report. He has slowly started to change his tune over the course of recent appearances. It seems as if the same man who claimed, with incredible hubris, that the Fed could drop money from helicopters if necessary in order to reliquify and reignite the economy is now openly stating that there are limits to what monetary policy can achieve. In fact, he said that too much QE via treasury and agency security purchases could actually hurt the market. When confronted about the Fed’s handling of monetary policy and Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill, Bernanke said it would be his “nightmare scenario” if politicians had the power to overturn or second-guess monetary policy. So what should we make of this? Has Bernanke been humbled by reality, or is he just holding his best hand for last? According to our guest, Lew Rockwell, the Monetary Control Act of 1980 gives the Fed the authority to buy more than just Treasuries and Agency debt. We speak with Mr. Rockwell for his take during the show.
Also, previously undisclosed letters from Peregrine Financial Group’s CEO have come out. According to the Wall Street Journal, the CEO described deceiving regulators as “relatively simple,” which allowed him to embezzle customer money undetected for two decades. He also called regulators mean-spirited. We talk to Lew Rockwell, Chairman of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute and author of “The Left, The Right, and the State”, about the difficulties surrounding regulation of the financial sector, and why it does not work.
And in today’s episode of “Loose Change,” Demetri and Lauren take on Timothy Geithner, who was thrown a softball interview on CNBC recently. He answered questions about his knowledge of the “LIBOR flap.” The interview started with the assumption that the LIBOR scandal is just a “flap,” whatever that means…. Lauren and Demetri will give you THEIR take.