Bernanke Breaks Down: "This Whole Thing Is a Kleptocracy"
(April 1, 2013)
Our April Fool's wish: someone in the inner circle of power would finally tell the truth.
In an unprecedented abandonment of his carefully scripted responses to Congressional questions, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke unleashed what appeared to be a heart-felt and spontaneous disavowal of the financial and political systems of the United States.
Asked a question about the wealth effect, Bernanke paused and said, "The wealth effect. Ah, right." He then smiled faintly and shook his head. "You want to know about the wealth effect? Well, I'll be candid with you. This whole thing is a kleptocracy--the financial system, the political system, it's one big kleptocracy. That's the real wealth effect."
Seeming to find his footing, Bernanke continued with a passion that startled the audience. "You know, I told myself to just repeat the party line for another year so I could step down quietly and let Yellen or another of the toadies take over, but I realized that I can no longer stomach the lies, the obfuscation and the plundering."
"Yes, I have a plum position lined up at Goldman Sachs after my retirement. You know, give a few speeches and pocket a couple of million dollars, but I am tired of the dirtiness of all this money."
Leaning into the microphone, Bernanke asked, "Aren't you tired of the dirtiness of all the money you take? Aren't you tired of the lies we're all living?"
"I am supposed to be an expert in economics. So I'll tell you how the system works in very simple terms. It's no different from the late Roman Empire, actually. The trick is to get close to the seat of Imperial power, which in our country is the Federal government. You bribe those on the make--there's always an abundance of them--to grant you special privileges, subsidies, contracts or a monopoly. You skim a great fortune off this proximity to political and financial power, and then you take t