Bernanke and Geithner in a tie for silliest story of the day

It's not that writing about the economy isn't fun. Although these are trying, painful times, they are also exciting and fascinating, and anyone who is paying attention realizes that the economy stands at the center of the kind of far-ranging debate that once inspired the Federalist Papers. Even so, amid juicy stories of toxic properties, sleazy corporate bonuses and Ponzi schemers, one sometimes wishes for a softer, more playful story . . . the kind of story that can let a writer really show his silly side.

The Federal Reserve's Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently delivered the finance media just such a fluff ball when they wore the same tie to a Congressional hearing. While not quite on par with wearing white to a wedding or the same dress as the mom to a Bar Mitzvah, tie sharing does raise raise a few eyebrows. After all, men don't have much room for sartorial creativity -- the least they can do pick out a different cravat than their fellow Congressional hearing witness.

The Huffington Post went with "Twins! Geithner, Bernanke Wear Identical Ties With Similar Suits!," while the Wall Street Journal's blog took the tack of "So Much For Fed Independence . . ." Even the AP's Laurie Kellman slipped in a line on the ties in her otherwise sober, probing article about the hearing.

Personally, I thought about playing off the idea of puppetry and ventriloquism. I considered drawing a cartoon of President Obama pulling a Bernanke puppet out of a case while saying something like, "and THIS is my second dummy." Alternately, it might have been fun to show Bernanke and Geithner sitting side by side, stage whispering,

"YOU change your tie!"
"No, YOU change your tie!"
"You aren't the boss of me!"

But by the time I got the likenesses right, I might have missed something important like the Dow shooting up in the wake of the President's press conference last night, or the mounting concerns within his own party about the federal debt.

Oh well. I'm looking forward to a really silly first half of 2010.
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