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I think you are right, but again a rate reduction is so tempting. What would happen if he decided not cut rates? Isn't wall street too strong of an influence against one single man?

The Financial Philosopher

For Ben to find his "Zen" he must balance many things: The need for a rate cut vs. the demand for one; prudent economic practices vs. political pressure; logic vs. government; and promoting rationality vs. perpetuating greed, among other things...

A lot can happen (or not happen) in the next two weeks that can influence Ben and the Fed's decision. I believe Ben can achieve balance by cutting 25 points vs. the 50 points that Wall Street is hoping for while iterating his purpose to restore order as opposed to "bailing out" speculators. In other words, make a small cut but keep a neutral "bias."

As I said, failure is necessary with capitalism. Where someone or some entity fails, some other entity will pick up the pieces and make something better out of it. The Federal Government is not needed to make capitalism work. Just staying out of the way is best...


I have to wonder if the world is ready for Zen Bernanke. In this complex world, doing what is right does not guarantee that all will be necessarily be well. Indeed, if he does stand firm, and if things were to get much worse, he risks being remembered as a poor governor...but that will be with hindsight, which I maintain can be cruel and deceiving, especially when dealing with matters of uncertainty.

The Financial Philosopher


You bring up a good point. Ben is in a federal position, which essentially means that doing what is "right" is not always what is "best." As for risking his legacy and being remembered as a poor governor, I would rather do what is right and be ridiculed than do what is popular or expected. After all, Greenspan did that and he is still highly ridiculed today.

We can't all be like Socrates, who allowed the government to put him to death before denouncing his own beliefs...


I still have an admiration for Greenspan, as his intellect towers above mine, and I am led to wonder about the current accusations. I would like to think he made the best decision with the information available at the time, but I have no idea as to what other officials and the media were saying about his decisions. It seems too easy to blame one man.

Caveat - I always seem to be on the other side of the mass opinion and I often tend to get trampled on.

The Financial Philosopher

You summize my point very well. If Ben finds himself, as you, "on the other side of the mass opinion," then he will likely have done the "right" thing...

I, as well, admire Greenspan's intellect. In the end, we must expect criticism to prepare for following the right path...

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About Kent Thune

  • Kent Thune is a wealth manager, a writer and a philosopher... Read More


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