Bernanke's Fed: America's Sovereign Wealth Fund

Does the central bank's bailout mark the start of the nationalization of our financial system?

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Classic stuff from economist Ed Yardeni (boldface below is mine):

When the credit crisis is finally over, we should put up a statue of Ben Bernanke in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty, which has a plaque at the base with a line from a poem, "The New Colossus," by the nineteenth-century American poet Emma Lazarus: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Ben's plaque should read, "Give me your subprime mortgages to the poor. I'll free you from the masses of illiquid securities in your portfolio, The wretched blind pools of CDOs and CLOs too. Don't make anyone homeless: I lift my lamp beside the golden discount window." The Fed crossed another historic line yesterday by extending a $30 billion credit line to fund Bear Stearns' illiquid assets, i.e., the firm's Level 3 portfolio. According to the 3/17 FT, a senior Treasury official said this credit line as part of the Bear sale could cost taxpayers money, although it could also result in a profit. And get this: "The Fed will employ a private sector adviser—as yet unnamed—to help it manage the assets from Bear." We now have our own sovereign wealth fund, namely, Feddie.

Federal Reserve
Bernanke, Ben

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