And for that matter most other appointed and elected officials.
Ben bailed out Bear Stearns in the dark, behind the tax payers backs and got nothing for it. The American people will forgive a lot, but not the out and out corruption of its leaders and decision makers. Had Ben done this deal in full view, it might not have set off the amount of resistance that it did, but time would not allow for that. Where I think Ben failed in bailing our Bear Stearns was that he got nothing for the US tax payers. A number of times in recent history, the US government has bailed out big business and received an equity stake in return. Chrysler in the 80s comes to mind, so do the airlines following September 11th. Bailing out Bear Stearns was the right thing to do, all be it highly toxic and unpopular, but it was undeniably the right thing to do. In much the same way as George Bush shot his global credibility to hell when attacked Iraq, Bernake shot his credibility down the drain when he failed to get anything in return for the Bear Stearns bailout.
Now with no credibility for making another potential corporate bailout, Ben Bernake is reduced to pan handling for the big banks in the form of begging for an individual home owner bailout, since the administration’s soft dollar policy has failed to do anything to arrest our slide into recession. In fact, its probably contributing to our current predicament.