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Dear Mr. Bernanke, Try This

By

Ben, Ben, Ben, I'm here to help.

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Dear Mr. Bernanke,

I have a confession to make. In my recently published book, I didn't speak too kindly of you nor your predecessor, "easy Al". I still believe my criticisms of Mr. Greenspan were not only accurate but have been validated by the recent financial crisis. But I may have jumped the gun with my critical judgments of you (thanks by the way for saving us all from financial Armageddon.) To make it up to you, let me give you some free advice.

You might understandably wonder why you should listen to me. Here's why:

First, when Alan Greenspan was being knighted "Sir Alan" by the Queen of England, I threw my pencil at the TV and shouted to my staff, "Knight him, she should be clubbing him!" I then went on to write in 2007: "Chairman Greenspan's mismanagement of the US economy was going to send the country into a global crisis and a repeat of the famous 1929 crash." Ben, as you now know, the 2008 collapse was nearly identical in percentage terms to the crash of 1929 -- just in slow motion.

Now as a penance for my verbal sins against you, I'll help you avoid the embarrassment that Mr. Greenspan had to go through when the media, prominent members of the financial industry, and world governments totally discredited him.

Here's my advice:

First, stop with the bubbles! I'm going to give you a pass on the new bubble you have created in the stock market as it has completely de-coupled from the real economy. You get this one pass because I understand you were trying to avoid going into the economic dark ages which could have resulted from a derivative-led collapse of the global economy. I get that, trust me. I also understand that in order for investors to meet the global margin call created from falling asset values and rising debt, stocks needed to go up ... quickly. This enabled cash-strapped families to raise cash by selling into a rising stock market and survive as they de-leveraged their household balance sheets.

Anyone who doesn't take advantage of this giant rally you have created will soon regret their inaction. You did your job -- but sooner or later the party has to end. We both know it. We also know that all this enormous liquidity will eventually have to be drained out of the system before the bond market collapses and we have a fiscal crisis of epic proportions on our hands.

Now, I can understand why you'll continue to monetize bonds for a while longer before pulling the rug out. You don't want to single-handedly bring down an empire in your first term as Federal Reserve chairman. I don't blame you for kicking the "fiscal responsibility can" a bit further down the road. God knows there's a long history in this country of playing that game.

Second suggestion, you ask? Don't let the dollar sink into a crisis. I understand you want the dollar lower to make what few exports our country has to offer more affordable -- which will certainly aid in the efforts to revive our economy. This is totally understandable, but don't push a good joke too far or you risk losing the "reserve currency" status the US dollar currently enjoys.

The dollar as the world's "reserve (or trading) currency" has been America's great blessing or curse, whichever way you want to look at it. The United States has the privilege of unbridled power to simply create an unlimited amount of dollars out of thin air. The fact that we can settle our debts in our own currency, and even print money to buy our own bonds to fund the government's reckless ways, is truly amazing. However, you and I both know that if the dollar sinks to new lows, oil will explode once again -- just like it did in 2007 and 2008. This will hurt the average guy who didn't benefit from your engineered Wall Street bailout.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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