In Fed We Trust (?)
On the way home from the other side of town tonight, I swung by Borders (open until 11p = win, Borders) and grabbed In Fed We Trust.
I was told by someone who'd already flipped through it that there were multiple references to Richmond's Jeffrey Lacker and David Wessel went so far as to paint him as a nemesis of Tim Geithner. Yes! I knew I picked the right one!
Initially, my reaction to the book was not exactly kind:
Breaking News! Ben Bernanke is the hero of the recession and since there are now handfuls of books on the subject (this self-promotional WSJ jerk off is certainly not unique, nor should we expect this trend to end any time soon), I suppose we can all collectively declare that the worst is over? Crisis averted? All well in the world?
As my mother declared when I came home at 14 with a suspicious blue streak dyed in my hair and announced that I was 6 hours late from school because of alien abduction, "Bull-fucking-shit."
This is before we knew he'd be back for Round Two and weeks ago when markets began showing signs of wear. Bernanke's reappointment has since appeared to send an icy shiver back out into the melee and all we can do at this point is sit back and watch. Let the Town Halls across the country brawl while the Fed figures out how to slip out of the back door. Or into it? Depends on how you look at it, I suppose.
Anyway. I bought the book.
Thus far, flipping through to find Lacker "sparring" with Geithner and intermittent snapshots of the market along the way, it looks promising and I even see a few jabs at homicidal maniac Alan Greenspan. Please tell me this book mentions "pound of flesh" and I'm sold.
We'll see if Bernanke ends up getting his balls licked in the end. For now, I'm willing to give it a shot just to see my favorite Fedheads punking Bernanke's fanclub (SF's Yellen, for one).
If you get it, please don't miss page 263's Geithnerisms (on Lacker's awesome fuck you to Timmy on his way out the door):
The Fed tradition is that the toast is done by the regional Fed bank president who chairs the Conference of Presidents; that post had just been assumed by Jeff Lacker, the Richmond Fed president who had been Geithner's nemesis. Lacker avoided the temptation to needle Geithner about his tax problems. He presented one of the traditional gifts - a frame holding dollar bills from each of the twelve Fed bank districts - and offered a little insider's humor: "Get used to the fact that at the Treasury you don't have the ability to print and circulate money. That's our job."
Wait for the LOLZ...
He [Lacker] told Geithner that his former colleagues had considered giving him one of the newly chartered companies that the Fed had created to hold Bear Stearns or AIG assets. After all, Lacker quipped, they were worth so little that they wouldn't exceed the Fed's $20 ceiling on gifts.