Fresh off Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, contender Herman Cain said if elected he would fire Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke but he would keep the central banking system though it needs to be fixed and its mission refocused.
In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, which did not touch on the sexual harassment accusations that have sidetracked his campaign, Cain also said Bernanke had allowed himself to be “politicized” by the Obama administration.
Van Susteren noted that GOP presidential rival Newt Gingrich said he would fire Bernanke, audit the Federal Reserve, and re-examine the Fed’s role. She asked Cain whether he agreed.
“Two out of three: Yes, I would fire Ben Bernanke — I would also audit the Federal Reserve because there has been some bookkeeping going on that I don’t think that the public totally knows about in terms of where did all of the TARP money go, who got bailed out, et cetera. So that’s the main reason for auditing the Federal Reserve,” Cain said. “Back in the ‘90s, when I was on the board of the Federal Reserve, we didn’t have to deal with a $14 trillion debt — we had a much smaller debt to deal with — so we didn’t try and basically tweak this economy with monetary policy and control unemployment as well as price stability.
“The Federal Reserve's role needs to be refocused on just price control, monetary price stability of our currency — that should be the only focus,” he said. “And I happen to believe that that’s how we fix the Fed, not getting rid of the Fed in its entirety.”
Van Susteren asked why Bernanke deserved to be the economic fall guy.
“Well, he allowed himself to be politicized by this administration . . . with these infusions of money into the monetary supply that has really gotten out of hand,” Cain said. “In other words, back in 1988, Greta, it took $1.20 of Canadian money to buy one U.S. dollar — today it takes $1.20 of U.S. money to buy $1 Canadian — this is upside-down in terms of the value of our currency.
“And quite frankly: His decisions have helped lead to that. Now, the reason that he did that, I'm conjecturing, is because of the $14 trillion debt,” he said. “When foreigners are not standing in line to buy our debt, then the Federal Reserve was trying to prop up the Treasury. That’s the problem that I have — and Speaker Gingrich have — with some of the decisions that he has made.”
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