NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When I was the U.S. Treasury bond trader at Prudential Bache from 1978 into 1981, Paul Volcker was the Federal Reserve chairman and he certainly performed as a great CEO of the U.S. economy. He saved the country from inflation and set the tone for the huge stock market rally that began under his watch.
Following Volcker as Fed chief and CEO of the U.S. economy was Alan Greenspan. Since then the economy has had to deal with a monetary policy that was conducive to forming bubbles, then having bubbles pop. Under CEO Greenspan, we experienced the stock market crash of 1987 and the hype of Y2K, which proved to be Y2 hoax. This policy provided the stimulus that inflated the tech bubble, which popped in March 2000.
A CEO should have the savvy to realize when his policies are causing financial bubbles. Under Greenspan the seeds were planted for the oil bubble, the gold bubble, the real estate bubble and associated debt bubble.
The succession plan from CEO Greenspan to CEO Ben Bernanke was the decision of President George W Bush on Feb. 1, 2006. This transition proved to be a status quo as Bernanke continued to raise the federal funds rate the next three FOMC meetings to a peak of 5.25% on June 29, 2006, which is when the housing bubble reached its peak.As CEO of the U.S. economy, Bernanke thought the subprime mortgage problems would be contained and not hurt the real economy. Even though this proved to be drastically wrong, President Barack Obama, who promised change, reappointed Bernanke on Jan. 28, 2010. While Wall Street has thrived though the financial stress of bubbles inflating and popping, Bernanke's zero rate monetary policy and quantitative easing parts 3 and 4 have inflated the major equity averages into an overvalued and overbought bubbles. None of these policies have helped Main Street.
Here's what I see happening on Main Street: I live in Tampa Bay, Fla., where home prices were up 2.6% sequentially in March and up 11.8% year-over-year. We bought the Standard & Pacific (SPF) model home in mid-2009. I thought we were buying at the low in a completed community of 960 homes. The current appraised value of our home puts me underwater. Many homes in my community were purchased between 2004 and 2007, and the majority of these owners remain underwater on their mortgages.