Ben Bernanke Confirmation Vote Tomorrow
I have not written much about the up coming Ben Bernanke new term confirmation vote scheduled for tomorrow because I figured it was a lock. I of course do not support his renewed term. His actions speak for themselves and one who was so clueless as to what form the crisis would take on cannot also be lauded without end for a response to said crisis. Besides, lowering interest rates to 0 and making government backstops of all forms is hardly singular thinking, Wall Street could have set FED policy over the past 2 years. Maybe they did.
I am even more frustrated because any replacement candidate will likely be a Greenspan/Bernanke clone and nothing will have been accomplished.
Best line on this issue comes from Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism:
"This notion of Bernanke being “critical” further suggests that Wall Street believes or knows he has and will manipulate markets on their behalf. Of course, Bernanke did so in an explicit way with the $1 trillion Treasury/Agency market intervention that started in March and is tailing off now. And of course, there has been the raft of special facilities, but those are supposedly being wound down now. Has there been even more, as some have charged, than what has been made public?"I still think this is a done deal, but you never know. If for some reason Bernanke is not confirmed or it is delayed then expect a huge temper tantrum from the markets to the tune of a 3% down day. Remember when TARP failed the first time?
The End of TARP; The Beginning of Plenty of Other Things
There was news today that Bank of America was planning on repaying TARP funds. Add to this the slow trickle back of a bulk of the emergency cash from banks and TARP almost seems a memory. Of course this says nothing about the ultra cheap money the banks are still getting from the FED and a myriad of other payouts/bailouts/backstops but lest leave that alone for a moment.
Why the TARP payback rush? Read the fine print. The TARP is a vehicle for the Treasury to use as they decide it is needed. I do not recall a time frame on that money, just an amount. What does this mean?It means there could be up to 700 Billion that needs a home without a new vote by the Congress! What a deal! Well I can think of plenty of things TARP will now be deployed for:
-State Municipal Bonds
-Commercial Real Estate
Now I could be wrong, but I think in front door out the back door is the plan here. Chime in if you see it another way.
Have a good night.