The Economy, Ben Bernanke, and Hitler
The Economy, stupid! Isn’t that what it’s all about? So why does it keep sucking? Mike Whitney and Alexander Cockburn (the latter, RIP) think it’s because Bernanke is no Hjalmar Schacht, who, I should probably note, was hired by Adolf Hitler.
From Whitney’s piece Hitler vs. Bernanke:
Why was Adolph Hitler able to lift Germany out of the Great Depression, when policymakers in the US–particularly the Fed–have failed so miserably?
Let’s look at the facts: When Hitler came to power in 1933, the German economy was in a shambles. Millions of people were out of work, a number of large banks had collapsed, the market for German exports had dried up overnight, and a US-led lending freeze (withdrawal of credits under the Young Plan) had thrust German industry and finance into a severe slump. By 1932, German industrial production was nearly half of what it had been a year earlier. Unemployment soared from 1.5 million in 1929 to more than 6 million in 1933.
Enter Hitler, who had been sworn in as chancellor under President Paul von Hindenburg in January, 1933. Hitler appointed German economist and banker, Hjalmar Schacht, as President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics. Schacht, in turn, launched a groundbreaking fiscal stimulus program that rebuilt the nation’s worn infrastructure and put millions of people back to work. At the same time, Schacht took steps to strengthen the currency, jettison the gold standard, and impose capital controls, all of which served to reinforce Germany’s economic independence.
In contrast, Whitney takes his shot at Bernanke:
Clearly, “Depression expert” Bernanke’s performance pales in comparison to Schacht’s and for obvious reasons. While zero rates and bond purchases (QE) have been good for risk assets, (Stocks are up more than 140 percent since their March 2009 lows.) unemployment is still above 7 percent, real wages are trending lower, GDP has shriveled to below 2 percent, 47 million people are on food stamps, and inequality is greater than anytime since the Gilded Era. The facts speak for themselves; Bernanke’s policies have only benefited the investor class. The real economy is still flat on its back.
The market is still juiced and waiting for another heart attack while we wait for congressional Democrats to get their shit together.
The shit that link points to is the Schumer gang stalling for Wall St so they can play with derivatives abroad (the link is safe, it goes to Mother Jones).
Voter turn out for the midterms might be interesting to look at, postmortem. According to this piece from Ezra Klein (he’s safe to) of the 30 million eligible, but unregistered Americans, 51.6% were uninterested or refused.
The Economy is floundering, and the political will to address it is virtually non-existant. Let’s hope another Hitler doesn’t appear to exploit the social instability this overt class war continues to produce.