The sad tale behind Ben Bernanke's sadness

Wednesday, April 2, 2014   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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Now you've done it – you've made Ben sad.

Ben Bernanke, I mean, the former head of the Federal Reserve, who bulldozed more than $3 trillion into Wall Street Vaults to bail out the big banks whose greed, fraud, and incompetence crashed our economy. Speaking to about 1,000 of those former bankers at a recent conference held in the opulent Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, Bernanke wailed that he was really saddened by the failure of us simple commoners to grasp what that bailout was all about.

It was about "the average person," he explained to his audience of superrich bankers (who had to snicker as he said that, since they’re the ones who actually got the government's money). There was hardly a dry seat in the hall as Ben lamented that "the guy on Main Street" just didn't get it that by rescuing Wall Street, "We're protecting you." So, see, you and I need to be much more appreciative of the help we got from him, because otherwise… well, he'll be sad.

Of course, Bernanke can probably assuage his sadness with the money he got for delivering this little personal insight into the psychic pain of a Federal Reserve chairman. Hosted by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and sponsored by such Wall Street powers as Citigroup (which, by the way, grabbed $100 billion in just the first phase of the bailout), Bernanke was paid $250,000 for his 40-minute chat. Allow me to do the math for you – his fee works out to $6,250 per minute of speechifying.

Wow – how can "the guy on Main Street" even begin to comprehend that? But we can comprehend something Ben can't: If he'd actually given a damn about us, he simply could've forced every one of the bailed out bankers to put their government money into job creating investments on our Main Streets. Instead, he let the bankers take our tax dollars with no strings attached. No wonder they paid him $250,000 for a speech.

"Secrets of the Bailout, Now Told," www.nytimes.com, December 3, 2011.

"Citigroup Tops List of Banks Who Received Federal Aid," www.cnbc.com, March 16, 2011.

"Bernanke's Pay for Play," Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2014.

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