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Fed Chief Bernanke Has How Many Friends On Facebook?

When your job is running the entire economy, navigating the stormy ups and downs of the stock market, inflation, unemployment, interest rates, etc., you need a lot of friends. Which would explain why Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke might have a Facebook page, where he can make all the friends he needs.

A Facebook page bearing the name of Benjamin Bernanke sure looked real enough.

Ben Bernanke on Facebook
Fed Chief Ben Bernanke on Facebook?

It included an official photo of the bearded Fed chief, listed his activities as "maintaining economic data, giving speeches, economic analysis" and his interests as "reducing inflation and stimulating growth." Bernanke is listed as a married male with "moderate" political views who graduated from Harvard and currently serves as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

The page listed all of Bernanke's 212 friends, who allegedly include Chelsea Clinton and the Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (who died in 2006).

It's funny enough to think that Bernanke would even have a Facebook page, let alone list this as his favorite quote: "I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said." (The quote is rightly attributed to his predecessor, Alan Greenspan.)

Would the Fed chief really be that tongue-in-cheek, on a public social networking site viewed by more than 80 million active users? And would the man who holds the reigns to our economy really be using "UncleBenBeard" as his AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) screen name, and "friending" everyone in sight? It just seems so, so... un-Fed like.

As you may have guessed, UncleBenBeard is not Ben Bernanke the Federal Reserve chairman, we were relieved to learn. The Facebook page is a fake. And the Fed, according to Bernanke spokeswoman Michelle Smith, contacted Facebook to remove the phony page.

"I hear there are actually several Ben Bernanke pages -- none of them are legitimate," Smith said in an email. (We actually counted seven bogus Ben Bernanke Facebook pages, not including the handful of Ben Bernanke fan pages.)

Facebook spokesman Matt Hicks tells us Facebook did, indeed, remove the "Ben Bernanke profiles after investigating them" based on the complaint by the Fed.

"Facebook removes any content that is in violation of our Terms of Use, including fake profiles," Hicks tells us. " After investigating several profiles for Ben Bernanke, we found that they were fake and we have removed them from the site."

Whether they thought it was real or not, several folks left comments on the phony Bernanke page we viewed. Someone identified as a Catholic University student writes, "ben, who's your favorite money honey?" Our favorite comment came from another Facebook member who wrote, "BEN can u message me if u are going to hike rates in september pls?"

Yeah, Ben -- could you please be a doll and let us know?

By Mary Ann Akers  |  July 10, 2008; 10:00 PM ET
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Bernanke's Friends:

It isn't remarkable that Chelsea Clinton is a good friend of the
the Fed Chairman as she works for a hedge fund specializing in
distressed securities: ipso, subprime bailout. You would think it
prudent, that .. a connection may exist .. because that's why one
is a friend; not especially that they would lay down their life for
for each other. The former Fed Chair would not reveal his invest
ments, and it was he who knew, in 2005, that the real estate bubble was coming. The Fed is corrupt, because it is chasing too
many areas, for example, can you imagine having Harry
Reid set the compass for the economy. The Supreme Court
members make public their positions, but the Fed board members are an ole boys club, favoring whisper and silence.
The Fed is corrupt, because of self-interest, and politics.
The American economy is too large to allow the Fed to exist
in its present form. And Wall Street is its captain.

Posted by: 3rd-Party Advocate | July 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

With the credit market recovery predicated on the precarious balance derived from Federal Reserve liquidity injections, capital infusions by sovereign wealth funds and investment managers, and bailouts of major financial institutions, one must wonder if this period of stability has legs. Prior fits of turbulence in late summer 2007 and March 2008 led to dramatic market seizures that froze access to capital, eroded confidence in counterparties, and led to the demise of two dominant financial institutions. The current credit market predicament is the result of years of overabundant liquidity and exorbitant hubris among Wall Street bankers that led to an inexplicable decoupling of risk and return. Begrudgingly, market participants are revaluing deflated assets as the extent of credit impairment in the financial system continues to be exposed.

Posted by: GoBoilers | July 11, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if friends is what I'd characterize them as. Opiners maybe?

Posted by: Tacking | July 11, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

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