Helicopter Bernanke has been chosen as the Person of the Year 2009. That is just ridiculous in my personal opinion.
For someone along with Greenspan created the single biggest housing bubble (in size) in human history so far, bailing out all the guilty parties and mopping up all the mistakes with even greater mistakes through printing of more free money, he is “coined” as the savior of the economy from another great depression. A country does not attain prosperity through devaluing its own currency. Such acts when the confidence game is up will be met with great consequence. I have no doubts that history in the future will not have kind words for Bernanke, nor Greenspan (whose reputation has already been turning thru this financial crisis).
Aren’t you glad that banks are paying back all the TARP money? I guess all of them are hopeful eternally, and wishing that all the option ARM and alt-A borrowers will be paying back more when they start to reset to 25-year amortization schedule, starting now until the end of 2011. I think banks are very likely to negotiate all the option ARM mortgages back to 30 years or longer if possible. However, the biggest problem is that once the mortgages are re-negotiated, the mortgage payment will NO LONGER be less than the prevailing rent. Furthermore, who is going to pay down more principal towards a property that is already 10% to 20% under-water? I expect that the two factors combined will cause significant portion of the borrowers to simply walk away, or become home squatters to take advantage of one year of free rent through foreclosure process.
So when the hands of banks are tight, and they will tighten even more on the new loans. Some will probably go under and join the weekly FDIC’s Friday parade, and some may come back and ask for government money again. Ha, except that for the second time when they want to dip the “honey pot” again, the money will not be available because American and politicians will be so upset and simply shut down the institutions. If they are able to sustain without asking for more money, you can be sure that lending in economy will take a dive, driving USA onto the same Japanese-style deflationary track. But don’t worry, our beloved Helicopter Bernanke will come in his helicopter in a hurry, bombing free money from the sky at the fastest speed. It is likely that in the not-too-distant future, we will see a more volatile stock market, dropping at first due to the resurgence of financial crisis, and then zoom back up and onto new highs (higher than 2007) due to out-right devaluation of US dollar.
By the end of 2010, US fiscal deficit will probably end at 13.5 trillion dollars or more. The speed that it will increase will be exponentially faster until it collapses. Before US goes full speed on this exponential debt curve, there may be still a chance of stopping before the point of no return. But such opportunity does not exist as long as Bernanke is still in office as Federal Reserve chairman. I guess Greenspan will be remembered as the Bubble Man, while Bernanke may be remembered as the Bubble-death Man, who would blow up the final bubble in $US and US bonds, without any further ability for US to attract/wield global capital.