WASHINGTON, DC – Bernanke finally admits how he predicted the end of the recession: Astrology!

Critics and economists have hounded Ben Bernanke since his report on Tuesday, wondering how he could say the recession would be over this year, and 2010 would be a “year of recovery.”  Last night, the Federal Reserve Chairman revealed that his predictions came from a combination of applied economic theory and consulting ancient star charts.

While making no promises, Bernanke said that if the Obama administration and the Fed are able to stabilize the financial markets, the planets are in alignment for the recession to end this year.

“Mercury is in retrograde, likely to stop by the end of the year.  That is when Jupiter and Venus will take over as the dominant planetary influences, which is a condition we haven’t seen since 1997.”

Until now, Bernanke has used a star-sign mood pocket watch to determine how interest rates should be adjusted with the Federal Reserve.  The pocket watch was given to him by Alan Greenspan and has played a key role in determining US economic policy for decades.

This is not the first time clairvoyance has influenced national politics.  President George Bush went to war with Iraq only after being told they had WMDs by an old gypsy woman in Crawford, Texas.  It was later discovered the gypsy woman was a prominent stockholder with Halliburton.

Bernanke has been a longtime believer in the power of the stars, and used astrology to get a near perfect score on the SAT and graduate valedictorian.  At age eleven, he won the state spelling bee by wearing an energy harnessing pyramid on his head for a week.  After losing the helmet in the raucous spelling bee after-party, he only ranked 23rd in the nationals.

Economic markets, domestic and abroad, are closely tied to the movements of the Federal Reserve.  Last week the Dow Jones jumped 500 points when Bernanke said he “had an itchy money finger.”  News that it was just allergies sent the Japanese markets to near bankruptcy.

Bernanke went on to say “In these difficult times, no stone can be left unturned in finding a way to get our country back on track.”  He then threw salt over his shoulder, picked up his rabbit’s foot, and left the meeting.

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