Bernanke's failure is rooted in his belief that WWII was a model for America's recovery strategy. Spend money! He failed to understand that America circa 21 century is not a developing nation but a fat and sassy one. He failed to recognize that industrial America was poised to produce all of the necessities for a generation of people ready willing and able to build it themselves and pay for it with credit. Today's american, even the so-called poor have too much of what we don't really need so cutting back is not a problem and, for many, paying their bills makes more sense. He failed to recognize that manufacturing of the staple goods have gone over seas and every purchase at Walmart sends the money to china. His belief that opportunity chases money and if there is a surplus of money the innovators will rescue the day when in fact 'need' is the mother of invention and surplus cash leads to surplus laziness. He forgot that america of old had few regulations and abundant resources waiting to be developed as opposed to an over regulated, uncertain business environment, with all of the resources placed off limits to development by the environmentalist wack-os. His biggest failure was to let the socialist's powermongers give the money to the Walmart shoppers and siphon it off for welfare and union saving rather than use the money to motivate 'employee hiring' enterprises that are viable and not simply pipe dreams.
The whole premise that the economic system would collapse and that everything as we know it would cease to exist indicated his basic failure of not really recognizing the potential of America and Americans, it epitomizes the attitude of the so called elite, the smartest in the room mentality.