Friends in high places

Ex-chair of the Fed, Alan Greenspan, was frequently criticized for throwing his weight around in favor of those whose economic position is based on owning financial capital, at the expense of the vast majority of the public. Congress loved everything about Greenspan and would have made him chair-for-life if they could, so it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that his replacement, Ben Bernanke, tends towards the same bias. Dean Baker paints a “hypothetical” scenario that would lead to just that conclusion. How else to explain why Bernanke would be so eager to smooth the rough waters of the financial markets? Aren’t they just natural expressions of the rational free-market system? To paraphrase Marilynne Robinson from one of her essays in Mother Country, if the markets are natural systems, like rivers, what obligation is there to flatten out the waterfalls and smooth over the rapids? The answer seems to be the obligations of class.