September 24, 2009
|Despite Bernanke’s happy-talk, the labor market will continue to suffer in the coming months.” What the hell is Bernanke smoking?|
I still get a thrill whenever I get my hands on a confidential memo with “The White House, Washington” on the letterhead. Even when–like the one I’m looking at now–it’s about a snoozy topic: This week’s G-20 summit.
But the letter’s content shook me awake and may keep me up the rest of the night.
The 6-page letter from the White House, dated September 3, was sent to the 20 heads of state that will meet this Thursday in Pittsburgh. After some initial diplo-blather, our President’s “sherpa” for the summit, Michael Froman, does a little victory dance, announcing that the recession has been defeated. “Global equity markets have risen 35 percent since the end of March,” writes Froman. In other words, the stock market is up and all’s well.
While acknowledging that this year’s economy has gone to hell in a handbag, Obama’s aide and ambassador to the G-20 seems to be parroting the irrational exuberance of Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke who declared last week that, “The recession is very likely over.” All that was missing from Bernanke’s statement was a banner, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.”
And the French are furious. The White House letter to the G-20 leaders was a response to a confidential diplomatic missive from the chief of the European Union Fredrik Reinfeldt written a day earlier to “Monsieur le Président” Obama.
We have Reinfeldt’s confidential note as well. In it, the EU president says, despite Bernanke’s happy-talk, “la crise n’est pas terminée (the crisis is not over) and (continuing in translation) the labor market will continue to suffer the consequences of weak use of capacity and production in the coming months.” This is diplomatic speak for, What the hell is Bernanke smoking?
May I remind you Monsieur le Président, that last month 216,000 Americans lost their jobs, bringing the total lost since your inauguration to about seven million? And rising.
This article was posted: Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 9:41 am