Bernanke’s Beard Threatens Bernanke

Jun 18, 2011
J. Webster
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Reuters Pictures

By Ben Bernanke’s Beard

I’ve heard you’re thinking of shaving me off, Ben, do you realize how absurd that is? You are the only person in the whole of Wall Street with a beard like this, all white, as soft and as cool as the underside of a pillow. I’m telling you, if you shave me off it will bring down the stock market like the world has never seen before.

The Great Depression, which you studied and think yourself such an expert on, will look like a tiny little recession in comparison. The crash of 2008 will look like nothing. Subprime mortgages, credit default swaps, AIG, Bear Stearns, Lehman, those will pale in comparison to shaving me off. If you think the concern over Greece or Portugal or Spain defaulting on their debt and bringing down the European Union is something to worry about, wait until you put that razor to your skin and try to shave me off. Just try it!

It will be the domino that breaks the camels back. People will think you’ve lost it. It’s not the thing to do when the market is on edge like this. You know since you grew me out, since you stopped shaving years ago and just trimmed me up nice and sweetly, your life has turned around. Do you think you would have become the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States with cleaned shaved look? And know you’re superstitious, don’t mess with a good thing. I know Tim Geithner said he was going to grow a beard. He won’t though. I’ve spoken to him. It won’t happen.

What do you think Jamie Dimon will say if you shave your beard? He’ll laugh at you. He will. You won’t get as much respect if you’re beardless. Trust me. The bankers will look on you as weak. Frail even.

And I’ve told you the story of Abe Lincoln, how he wouldn’t have become President of the United States if he didn’t let his whiskers grow, right? The beard gave his gaunt face some strength, power, and elegance. You want to end up on a coin don’t you…

Remember when your little grandson thought your beard was cotton candy and tried to take a bit. Yeah, we’ve shared some good times and laughs together. Don’t forget about the memories we’ve made not only in the financial world but at home.

Think of all the time we’ve spent together. Think of all we’ve been through. Think about the care you’ve shown to me, the gentle trimming and shaving below the chin and next. No cuts just smooth and steady like your policies. You are willing to let all of that go. I don’t think so. It’s not in you. Actually, you couldn’t do and you won’t.

I don’t want to bring it up again, since I know it scares you, but I’ll remind you of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the HAL 9000. Don’t even try to cut a white whisker off your face. I can hear your thoughts.

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