For a man who is by all appearances so gentle and unassuming, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke draws a great deal of ire. In an effort to better understand the utter rage that this soft-spoken economist provokes, The Observer will regularly log the most memorable anti-Ben zingers. Today’s edition comes from George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan via CNBC’s John Carney:
In the end, Bernanke’s behavior baffles me. He abandoned his own intellectual positions without explanation, humiliated himself, sparked a terrible recession, set a long list of dangerous precedents, and pushed the U.S. and the world down the road to serfdom. My best guess is that he simply didn’t have the backbone to tell people like Paulson and Bush that they didn’t know what they were talking about. Whatever the reason, though, the crisis forced me to rethink my optimism about the Fed. Bernanke and company ignored their own research, got predictably bad results, and pleaded impotence. Instead of playing the voice of reason, they acted like they’d believed in bailouts and fiscal stimulus all along. I expected better. I was wrong.
mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor