Not So Fast, Zimbabwe Ben: Bernanke Confirmation Gets C*ckblocked in the Senate
Ed Andrews has the scoop at NYT (and WTF, EA, do you ever sleep?!):
Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont said on Wednesday that he would try to block the Senate from confirming Ben S. Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
The move is unlikely to derail Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment, but it could slow the confirmation process and give the Fed’s critics additional opportunity to press their case. As a practical matter, it means Senate Democratic leaders will have to line up 60 votes in favor of Mr. Bernanke rather than a simple majority at a time when the Federal Reserve is under increasing populist attacks from lawmakers on both the right and the left.
Mr. Bernanke will testify on Thursday at his confirmation hearing before the Senate banking committee. He is expected to face criticism for not doing more to prevent the financial crisis, and calls by some lawmakers for a sharply reduced regulatory role in the future.
Mr. Sanders, an independent, is not a member of the Senate banking committee, but he has frequently accused the Federal Reserve of bailing out Wall Street firms and the banking industry at the expense of ordinary citizens.
Well what the hell? Can't we get a larger, more important Congressional cockblock here?
The Bernanke reconfirmation is a damned if we do, damned if we don't trap. Our alternative was Larry Summers so let's just thank our lucky stars for a second Bernanke term knowing it could be a whole hell of a lot worse. But ignoring that, 4 more years of Zimbabwe Ben sent a giant fuck you echoing across the Pacific (don't look at me, I barely talk to the Chinese and live 46 blocks from the ocean) to China and they can't be too happy about this. It's not like they actually enjoy debasing their own currency, do you think they derive some sick pleasure from having Geithner's bitch ass accuse them of currency manipulation?
We could never win. I'll actually take a delay right now, it gives the growing Congressional Fedbashing contingent time to regroup and get a few more pairs of Fed cojones on their chopping block. The Fed has always been a monster of Congress and it's about time they clean up what they let fester over there on Constitution Avenue (the Fed is dripping with irony if you care to look for it, its location is just one example.)
Congress seems to be trying all sorts of anti-Fed stunts, let them do it while we argue about Zimbabwe Ben for a bit. I'm down for that and might have something to add to that particular conversation. Who cares if Bernie Sanders doesn't have the largest Congressional cockblock in his arsenal? It's a cockblock none-the-less.
Besides, the longer we delay this, the more time we have for the veil to drop on the Fed's elusive "exit strategy" (if I asked you to bring me a unicorn and bring me a blueprint of the Fed's exit strategy, I bet you'd find the unicorn first. Can someone get on that? You have 10 days until my birthday, hurry up). Once it becomes obvious that they have no such weapon, I think the Bernanke confirmation issue will be the least of the Fed's concerns.
It's getting old now.