While Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comment yesterday that the Banking sector's condition is "far from normal" and Secretary of The Treasury, Hank Paulson's and Citibank's head honcho Vikram Pandit's view that "the worst of the credit crisis is behind us" are not diametrically opposed perspectives, they don't exactly converge either.
Who should we believe? Intuitively, I can't subscrbe to Mr. Paulson or Mr. Pandit's public stance, because, at least where Mr. Paulson is concerned, The Secretary's judgement has been, to date, very poor regarding the ongoing crisis in the financial sphere. I offer as evidence, (of either rank dishonesty, incompetence, or both), the Secretary's opinion, offered last summer, that the "sub prime crisis is contained." As for Citibank, they are clearly bankrupt, and their continued borrowings at usurious rates from sovereign wealth funds to shore up their massively depleted capital base gives the game away. All is far from well, at least where they are concerned.
Ben Bernanke clearly operates from the same playbook as his infamous predecessor, the mendacious maestro himself, Alan Greenspan. However, despite Mr. Bernanke's propensity to act as Wall Street's best friend at the expense of the general public, I believe he is a grade more forthright about what he is up to and the state of play out there in banking land. Then again, except amongst the mainstream media, their followers, and those who simply have not been paying attention, it is impossible to play hide the hotdog where the banking system's unprecedented troubles are concerned. So, a modest portion of honesty in this case isn't so much a laudably moral choice on the part of The Chairman of The Federal Reserve Board as it is an unavoidable necessity.