You've read the news. "Bernanke Bails Out Bear." Then you've had financial analysts argue that the Federal Reserve's Ben Bernanke may have not necessarily bailed out Bear Stearns
Why isn't anyone stepping up to show the guy a little gratitude or, at the very least, lend a little compassion? Where is the "Thank You, Ben Bernanke" headline?
Sure, his knee-jerk moves to stabilize the financial markets have created a laundry list of negative side effects. And by guaranteeing $30 billion in iffy Bear Stearns loans, the Fed is setting itself up for some dicey decisions down the line.
- If Six Flags
has another horrendous season or two, will Bernanke step in and take roller coasters for collateral? (Nasdaq: SIX)
- If Blockbuster
continues to stumble, will Bernanke take Collateral for collateral? (NYSE: BBI)
- If Microsoft
bails on Yahoo! (Nasdaq: MSFT) , will the Fed step in to create Bernankehoo? (Nasdaq: YHOO)
I'm just teasing (I hope), but at least Bernanke isn't standing still. Even if his critics like to deride him as Helicopter Ben, I trust that even his staunchest of detractors would never suggest that Bernanke created this economic slump as much as inherited it.
History will tell the tale. Will his orchestrated moves of creating liquidity and lowering rates help soften the blow or open the door to inflationary pressures that will blow the roof off from the inside?
Until then, I think the Bear Stearns move -- more than being a bailout by Bernanke -- is actually a bailout of Bernanke. Why isn't anyone writing this man-bites-dog headline? History may prove this to be a nearsighted move by the Fed, especially the actual cherry-picking of one freefalling investment banker over others with buckling knees, but at least his legacy will show that he cared.
Yes, you can care too much. Critics will be the first to point that out. You know it, of course, because you've already read the headlines.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't going to join the Ben Bernanke Fan Club, but he's not going to be as quick to lynch him as some of his fellow Fools have been. He does own shares in Six Flags. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.