After watching Bernanke last night on 60 Minutes, I still believe he has it backwards. He started the interview expressing his thoughts that they first have to stabilize the financial system and then everything will be ok and a recovery will ensue and that once Wall Street is fixed, Main Street will follow. However, it’s Main Street that is the crux of the problem, they have too much debt and that’s leading to the lack of mortgage, credit card, etc… repayments. While the banks were ridiculously leveraged also, the banking system gets ‘fixed’ once consumers start paying their bills again.
With the TALF trying to get banks lending again and other various gov’t steps, the gov’t is trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, the Humpty Dumpty that borrowed too much, spent too much and didn’t save enough. On the ‘Stress Test’ that Ben talked about, WFC chairman called the plan “asinine.” Banks led Asian and European stocks higher.