Did Ben Bernanke deserve to be named Time's "Person of the Year"?
"Absolutely not," Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics told Yahoo's Tech Ticker yesterday. "On a personal level I have great sympathy for Chairman Bernanke but he's made such a pig's breakfast of this whole situation."
Whalen's been a vocal critic of banks like Citigroup, which he called "the queen of the zombie dance party" and has been adamant about the disparity between Wall Street's rebounding profits and the larger economy. He also certainly has no love for the Fed Chairman, who will face a Senate vote today for confirmation for a second term.
Arguing that Bernanke has politicized the Federal Reserve and done little other than rescuing the banking sector, Whalen said:
"He hasn't changed the underlying financial reality inside the banks and he hasn't done anything for the real economy. So where have you helped us? The only thing I see is inflation. For the average American the message they should take away from this year is this: Bernanke's policy has insured we'll see the purchasing power of Americans' savings dwindle."
You saw the way the bubble was during '05, '06, '07, do you think all of that GDP was real? Of course not, it was financed with debt. I think we're closing to the real economy now in terms of GDP. You have to deflate in order to fix the economy."
Though he believes Bernanke will win enough Senate vote to be reconfirmed, Whalen said Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd could be in trouble if he supports Bernanke. "Every member of the Senate who is running for reelection next November would love to vote no," he added.