Jim Cramer thinks Ben Bernanke is the Greatest Fed Chair Ever, and believes his handling of the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch deal above reproach.
He bristled on CNBC that Darryl Issa would use the word "cover-up":
It’s a shameful term. The idea that he can make this completely baseless charge just tells me — you know, we got a little too much democracy in this country.
Far be it for me to defend Darryl Issa, but, as Yves Smith notes over at Naked Capitalism, Bernanke’s involvement in BofA’s acquisition of Merrill looks pretty sketchy:
[T]he Fed began selling out its vaunted independence in the Greenspan era, when the Maestro made nice to the Clinton administration for an unidentified quid pro quo. presumably reappointment as Fed chairman. And Bernanke hasn’t simply been coordinating policy with the Treasury, but has instead acted as an off balance sheet vehicle for the Treasury, enabling it to circumvent budgetary constraints and evade the need for Congressional approval (and oversight too).
BofA CEO Ken Lewis told the NY attorney general’s office that he’d been pressured by Bernanke into going through with the Merrill deal despite the fact that he knew Merrill was going to the dogs and he didn’t want to.
As Tyler Durden notes, Bernanke’s been juggling with knives for years now. It’s sad that Cramer thinks the Masters of the Universe are all-wise financial guardians whose wisdom must not be challenged, but there is a reason that the Federal Reserve Transparency Act has 243 cosponsors, well in excess of the 218 needed for a majority. Nobody trusts what’s going on at the Fed.
Jim Cramer, however, thinks the problem is just too much democracy.
Paging Jon Stewart. . . .