What would happen if Ben Bernanke shaved?


We are often unmindful of the pictures that other people carry around in their heads of us. For instance, I’m always running into people who say, "You shaved your beard!" when I haven’t worn one in a year or more. A lot of Republicans, for instance, think of me that way because they saw me lot at the GOP convention in New York four years ago, and I had a beard that week (as in the shot of Jeff Miller and me on this post).

Separate from that, two people have said it in the last couple of weeks. One of them was Kathleen Parker (at this event), and the other one I forget.

The fact that people will, however belatedly, notice something like that about ME got me to thinking over the weekend…. We all know how skittish markets are. Whatever you think about what Phil Gramm said, the fact is that the health of our economy is largely a phenomenon of mass psychology (which is why I posted the FDR picture). If we believe stocks have value, they have value. If enough of us believe the economy is healthy, it will generally be healthy. (This is why I don’t like dealing with the economy; so much of everything, right down to the value of money and gold themselves, are a smoke-and-mirrors thing that only works if you close your eyes and BELIEVE. Except of course for the land, Katy Scarlett…)

And you know how the merest word or smallest gesture on the part of a chairman of the Federal Reserve can have, even in good times: The chairman said "irrational exuberance"! We’re exuberant, but is it irrational? Could he be right? Next thing you know, the dot.com bubble bursts. Sure, those stocks were overvalued, but the bubble lasted as long as we were able to fool ourselves otherwise.

So it occurs to me that, with everything so precarious on the Street, and Paulson and Bernanke speaking to Congress in such hushed whisper of awe and fear and the pending collapse of our credit markets…

What if Ben Bernanke shaved off his beard?

Why, Wall Street would go berserk! But would it be good berserk, or bad berserk? Could this be the bold stroke that is needed to jolt the economy back to where it should be? Or would we find ourselves living in the Stone Age before he could get a Don Johnson stubble going again?

It’s probably not worth the risk. If I see Ben Bernanke even LOOKING at the Schick Xtreme 3s in a checkout line, I’m going home and stuff all my baseball cards into a mattress.

I’ve probably made enough trouble even suggesting the possibility. For that reason, I won’t even go into the fact that…

Henry Paulson looks disturbingly like Daddy Warbucks!


8 thoughts on “What would happen if Ben Bernanke shaved?

  1. p.m.

    Time was, in the seventh grade, I represented my county in the state spelling bee, back when Ben Bernanke, two years my junior, didn’t have a beard.
    From the moment Ben entered the room that day in Anderson, the rest of us rival spellers knew we were doomed.
    Ben won, and I finished fifth, but had he finished second, he would still be the only opponent from that day that I remembered, so groomed and polished was he.
    When he was named chairman of the FED, this phrase occurred to me:
    It figures.
    And it still does.

  2. Mike Cakora

    Courtesy of Breaking Views:

    The US government’s $700bn bailout plan needs a name — what should it be called? The US Treasury likes ‘Troubled Asset Relief Program’, or TARP. One of our readers suggests ‘Secured Housing Investment Trust’.

    I couldn’t wait to post this. I go for #2…

  3. bud

    This bailout plan has a unique character about it. Folks on the right, Bill Kristol, Jim Demint and the left, Paul Krugman, are very much against the bailout plan. One especially disturbing aspect of the plan is the one that give so much power to just one person, the Treasury Secretary. The folks on the right are probably scared that an Obama appointee will have that power if he’s elected. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  4. Lee Muller

    If FDR, Jimmy Carter, Clinton or Obama is proposing to seize control of a huge HEALTHY sector of our economy, that’s okay with socialistic liberals.
    I’m all for letting the government programs like Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and FHA shut down.


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