Casey At The Bat -- Bernanke Edition

Bernanke gave an important speech in London yesterday on the economic situation and the road ahead (NYT on it here, the speech itself here). He said the emerging stimulus plan, while important, won't be enough to right the ship without doing more to fix the financial system. But there's another way to look at where we may be heading on Bernanke's watch this year, which I thought I'd lay out in a fun little poem - a form that is often underestimated as a mode of economic analysis. If you know the great American baseball ditty, "Casey At The Bat," you'll recognize the meter. Enjoy!

Bernanke at The Fed!

Things were looking down for GDP that fateful year
Retail sales had sunk, with the consumer crouched in fear
The S&P had cratered, while the banks their cash did hoard
But still there’s hope, they said, with Ben Bernanke at the Board

George Bush had all but washed his hands – Obama hadn’t started
Though Larry Summers thought big thoughts, the waters hadn’t parted
Hank Paulson, who had tried his best, could not get out of bed
But don’t despair, they told us, Ben Bernanke’s at the Fed

Now Ben, from back in Princeton days, had studied doom and gloom
Though soft of voice his brain was oft the biggest in the room
Unlike the vanquished Greenspan he was no Rand devotee
And when he went to bed, Ben didn’t sleep with NBC

To fight the dip Bernanke had hurled thunderbolts galore
He lowered rates and bought up debt from here to Bangalore
He rallied global central banks who feared his vengeful sting
Though shove had come to push, big Ben still pushed his mighty string

But now Ben had to face grim facts - with interest rates at zero
The standard cures had failed and Ben Bernanke was no hero
Jobless claims were soaring and the TARP had all run dry
From sea to wailing sea came forth a deep collective sigh

And so Bernanke pulled the final arrow from his quiver
A tool so blunt and fearsome that it made his colleagues shiver
“The lesser of two evils!” cried Bernanke to his board
And then Ben flipped the switch – and then the printing presses roared....

O somewhere in this fruited plain the Chinese plan to poach
Obama’s talking fireside; Nardelli’s flying coach
AIG is RIP – and Britney’s a sensation
But there is no joy on Wall Street – thanks to Big Ben’s Big Inflation



Blogger Robert said...

Trauma and dead ideas: In shattering what in my book (RD Stolorow, Trauma and Human Existence) I call the absolutisms of everyday life (goodness is rewarded, America is invincible), trauma turns such illusions into dead ideas. Human beings seem forever to be trying to revivify their dead ideas through resurrective ideology.

January 14, 2009 at 7:10 PM  

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