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en Bernanke’s memoir is out and the chatter about it inevitably turns to the sickening moments in September 2008 when “the world economy came very close to collapse.” Easy to say, but how many people know what that means?

It’s every bit as opaque as the operations of the Federal Reserve itself.

In fact, many veteran Burners come every year for that very reason. As Doctor Sigmund Freud reminds us, sex is a very powerful motivator.

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The great triumph of Ben Bernanke was to engineer a fix that rendered trust and good faith irrelevant. Bernanke now says he “regrets” that nobody went to jail. More to the point perhaps he might explain why the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission did not make any criminal referrals to the US Attorney General in such cases as, for instance, Goldman Sachs (and others) peddling bonds deliberately constructed to fail, on which they had placed bets favoring that very failure.

But the authorities turned a blind eye to it, and to the reporting of others, mostly on the web, since the legacy news media just didn’t want to press too hard.

In effect, the rule of law was replaced with a patch of official accounting fraud, starting with the April 2009 move by the Financial Accounting Standards Board involving their Rule 157, which had required banks to report the verifiable mark-to-market value of the collateral they held. The 20th Anniversary edition With an entertaining new introduction by the author Bargain Price .99 Amazon Kindle …or … Kobo James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation.

There were many ugly facets to the problem but they all boiled down to global insolvency — too many promises to pay that could not be met. They accumulated over the decades-long process, largely self-organized and emergent, of the so-called global economy arranging itself.

All the financial arrangements depended on trust and good faith, especially of the authorities who managed the world’s “reserve currency,” the US dollar.

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