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The Boy Who Cried 'Exit Strategy'

However, Bernanke's game is actually a two-step. First he teases the slack-jawed yokels with another promise of an "exit strategy" (from the most extreme/insane monetary stimulus ever attempted by any government). Then, in the proud tradition of P.T. Barnum he "provokes mystery" by telling the yokels he won't actually deliver on this mythical exit strategy...yet.

Why not?

Because it's "too soon." The recovery "needs more time" to "gather strength" and/or "build momentum." Is this plausible? What would we think if we saw a boy with a new bicycle but four years later the boy is still riding around with the training wheels on his bike? A reasonable person would assume the boy will never be able to ride the bike without training wheels, and should he remove them, he would instantly fall flat on his face.

What should a reasonable person infer when Bernanke's incessantly hyped recovery cannot withstand having its own "training wheels" removed after four years? Indeed, Bernanke has already promised to keep the training wheels on the U.S. economy until (at least) 2015. Can Bernanke's fear/intransigence (or stalling) be explained in any other way? Perhaps.

One could argue this sounds remarkably like the Bernanke of 2005, writing about the U.S.'s "Goldilocks economy" where markets and house prices could/should/would just keep going up and up and up forever. Of course that was right before Bernanke took over the Fed, and things didn't work out quite as he predicted.

In fact, a little over a year later Bernanke was warning Americans about a "soft landing" in the U.S. housing market. But that wasn't quite how things turned out either. D'oh!

This brings us to the last four years of Bernanke promising the world his "exit strategy." He's never quite been able to deliver on that promise -- because he didn't want to ruin the U.S.'s "Goldilocks economy."

Which brings us back to the beginning of this circle of lies.

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