Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t regret much about the Fed’s actions during and after the financial crisis, he told the Economic Club of Canada on Tuesday, during a speech for which he was most likely paid a small fortune.
So he doesn’t regret that the Fed, under his reign, handed out trillions of dollars to the largest banks and corporations, US and foreign, to teach them once and for all a crucial lesson, that the Fed – and hence the public at large – would always be there for them when their horrid and reckless bets got them into very predictable trouble; that the Fed would always do whatever it would take to fan inflation in order to raise corporate revenues and profits, whittle down real wages, and inflict financial repression on savers.
He doesn’t regret either that the Fed has destroyed what was left of the financial markets as a means of price discovery. Nor does he regret that the wealthy were bailed out during the financial crisis and that they have then become much wealthier while the rest of the people were left to struggle the best they could with the conditions the Fed has created.
But there’s one thing he does regret: that he wasn’t able to explain the Fed’s actions well enough to the vast majority of Americans, namely those who’ve gotten shafted by the Fed’s very actions. “They think somehow or another that we favored Wall Street instead of favoring Main Street and that’s unfortunate,” he said. “I still think there are a lot of people out there who really don’t understand why we did what we did.”
For sure for sure. But there are a few people out there who do understand: the billionaires, or those who became billionaires during the worldwide money-printing and interest-rate repression binge. It’s been one heck of a bonanza for them.
Just today, the world’s 200 richest people made $13.9 billion. In one single day, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. That’s big bickies, as my friends from down-under might say.
We may quibble over the accuracy to the penny of these net-worth estimates, and their daily changes, but Bloomberg is pretty confident, even concerning assets that are not publicly traded. And in case of doubt, they’re left out, Bloomberg explains in its Methodology. And so here is the crème de la crème:
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