The Globe and Mail asked readers what they would do if they were in U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s shoes. Here’s what some of them had to say.
“I would stop applying short-term, politically attractive fixes to long-standing structural problems within the economy. I would stop all quantitative easing programs, increase interest rates to fight real inflation, let bad companies and countries fail, so that their resources can be put to a more productive use. I would force Americans to live within the their means. I would allow the painful process of economic restructuring to take place.” – Philopator Ptolemy, 35, software engineer, Toronto
“I would print enough to pay off the foreign debt and start new. Devalue the dollar and then work comes back to the U.S. Chinese products are more expensive. which makes Made-In-America work! Get people jobs.” – Rick Fiser, retired, Orlando, Fla.
“I would stop playing God with the economy and slowly let rates rise to a natural level. This would allow for bad debt to be liquidated, savers to be rewarded and speculators to take a haircut. I would then apologize profusely for making the recession drag on so long, shut down the Fed and resign.” – Trevor, 39, software program manager, Ottawa
"I would rekindle the natural optimism and can-do spirit of ordinary Americans and watch it spread to other parts of the economy. Then send a strong message to U.S. voters that it's the politicians' job to solve the regulatory, fiscal/debt and tax issues if they want a sustainable recovery." – Dawn Steele, investor, Vancouver
“I would do the honorable thing and become a whistle-blower and implicate the leaders of the banking cabal.” – David Prowse, 57, film producer, Stockholm
“I would create the American Construction bank that would finance the building of new infrastructure projects that could be operated to generate income and become self-sufficient. It would be like during the Second World War, when the U.S. government was on a spending spree building armaments, which helped end the Great Depression. Lots of job will be created.” – Teotimo Titus Pacis, 31, pharmacist, Winnipeg
“I would create good old-fashioned fiscal stimulus: construction projects, tax rebates for purchasing new plants and equipment.” – Scott MacKinnon, mortgage broker, Halifax
“I would do nothing. The economy, both global and in the United States, is stuck in a liquidity trap, in which all monetary policy conducted by Central Banks has little to no affect on reviving an economy. The focus needs to be on demand and, therefore, jobs, something fiscal by the government, not monetary by the Fed.” – Paul, 18, student, Oakville, Ont.
"I would apologize for a stimulus not worth the hangover. Say I was sorry for all
those financially trampled in its aftermath. It was not fair to them." – Ken Nash, 56, finance/marketing, Pickering, Ont.
“I would quit! The system does not allow an appointed official like myself the clout to resolve today's problems. I would return to academia and harass them from there.” – Daniel Raeside, 74, retired, Ottawa
"I would close the privately held Federal Reserve, make sure it gets audited and accounted for." – Tom Harper, 52, Vancouver
Add your own ideas on the comments page of this article.