Is It Safe for Ben Bernanke to Visit Texas Yet?

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Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives to give a lecture on the 2008 global financial crisis in a classroom at George Washington University School of Business in Washington, March 29, 2012.

If it’s true, as Rick Perry said, that the Federal Reserve was juicing the economy as part of a “treasonous” plot to re-elect Barack Obama, then the plot seems to have, er, thinned. One reason for the Dow’s big fall yesterday was the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting, suggesting that Ben Bernanke and company want to let the economy cruise on its own for a while  without injecting more monetary stimulus. (By the way, I wrote yesterday that the market’s indigestion about about financial trouble in Spain; that seems to have been some but not all of the cause.) But the economy isn’t out of the woods yet, and recent history suggests a pattern of over-optimism, not excess pessimism, so you can make a reasonable case for continued Fed intervention. Especially if you’re part of a Washington-Wall Street cabal trying to re-elect Barack Obama. That doesn’t appear to be the case. Neither, by the way, is the runaway inflation that Sarah Palin predicted would come from Bernanke’s quantitative easing policies.

Bernanke recently told Diane Sawyer that he had a “great visit” to Texas shortly after Perry’s infamous remark. I wonder if he was wearing a disguise. Maybe now he won’t need one.