“The public in many countries is understandably concerned by the commitment of substantial government resources to aid the financial industry when other industries receive little or no assistance. This disparate treatment, unappealing as it is, appears unavoidable. Our economic system is critically dependent on the free flow of credit, and the consequences for the broader economy of financial instability are thus powerful and quickly felt.”
– Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jan. 13, 2009
One of the more remarkable things about the expansion of the subprime financial crisis into a general economic contraction is the Federal Reserve System’s narcissistic focus on itself. In his speeches, Ben Bernanke spends more time talking about the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and how stupendously fabulous it continues to be despite the vast quantities of loans it is making to shore up various aspects of the financial system than he does about the unemployment rate or the expected effects of economic contraction on the public.