First and foremost, I want to congratulate fellow South Carolinian Ben Bernanke for keeping his job under trying circumstances. I’m glad he doesn’t have to go back to working at South of the Border.
Any time any South Carolinian can keep his job in this economy, considering the total cock-up the folks in charge have made of it, it’s good news… Oh, wait, Ben Bernanke IS one of the people in charge of the economy…
Seriously, though, I have no complaints about Bernanke’s performance. And maybe he has even helped us avoid things getting worse, as the president suggested today in reappointing him.
At the same time, I’m not sure how much difference it makes. The president wanted to signal stability — was in such a hurry to do so that neither he nor Ben could take a moment to put on a tie — and he did that with this action. Fine. And I love it when Democrats appoint Republicans, and vice versa (in fact, about the only Republicans I can stand are those who would appoint or be appointed by Democrats, and again vice versa).
And that might be as far as substance goes. It would be unsettling to change horses at this point, so the president interrupted his vacation to tell the markets he’s not going to shake them up that way. Fine.
And while it wasn’t mentioned, I’ll bet part of the president’s private conversation with Bernanke involved begging the Fed chair to not even consider ever shaving his beard. You don’t think that’s important? Huh. Shows what you know. Just as Ben Bernanke is an expert on the Great Depression, I happen to be an expert on the subject of the economic impact of Ben Bernanke’s beard. I was quoted by The Wall Street Journal on the subject, no less. Do you know anyone else who’s been quoted by the Journal on that subject? I didn’t think so. So all right, then: That makes me the world’s leading authority.
And speaking ex cathedra from my considerable store of expertise, I can assure you that the president reappointed the Dillon Countian for the same reason why Bernanke doesn’t get up one morning and decide to shave (even though I sort of suggested he should last year, but the situation was more desperate then): Because the markets couldn’t handle the change. They’re too fragile.