The Federal Reserve's "socialist" agenda

Senator Jim Bunning calls the rescue of Bear-Stearns a repudiation of the invisible hand

Published April 3, 2008 9:03PM (EDT)

How many times in his career do you suppose Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been accused of carrying out an insidious socialist agenda?

My bet is Thursday's Senate Banking Committee hearing investigating the Bear-Stearns "rescue" was the first.

Before testimony from the witnesses, who included Bernanke, New York Federal Reserve Bank president Timothy Geithner, Bear-Stearns CEO Alan Schwarz and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, had even begun, the assembled Senators had the opportunity to make their throat-clearing opening statements. Most of the Senators came down on the side of supporting the Fed's ultimate decision, but wondering exactly how it transpired and what the future implications for regulating Wall Street's financial institutions would be.

But Senator Jim Bunning, R-Ky., expressed a profound state of alarm.

I am very troubled by the failure of Bear Stearns, and I do not like the idea of the Fed getting involved in a bailout of that company.

But before making a final judgment, I want to hear from our witnesses why they thought it was necessary to stop the invisible hand of the market from delivering discipline.

That is socialism -- at least that's what I was taught, and I would imagine everybody at that table was taught the same thing -- and it must not happen again.

Have you no shame, Senator?

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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