Obama to tap Bernanke for a second term

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday will nominate Ben S. Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, administration officials said.

The announcement is a major victory for Mr. Bernanke, a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush almost four years ago and who had briefly served as chairman of Mr. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers.

A top White House official said Mr. Obama had decided to keep Mr. Bernanke at the helm of the Fed because he had been bold and brilliant in his attempts to combat the financial crisis and the deep recession.

“The President thinks that Ben’s done a great job as Fed chairman, that he has helped the economy through one of the worst experiences since the Great Depression and that he has essentially been pulling the economy back from the brink of what would have been the second Great Depression,” the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said on Monday night.

Mr. Obama will announce his decision, with Mr. Bernanke at his side, at 9 a.m. at an appearance at Oak Bluffs School on Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obama family is vacationing this week.

White House officials said that Mr. Obama had effectively decided four or five weeks ago that he wanted Mr. Bernanke to continue, and that he formally discussed the job with him last week at a meeting with the Fed chairman in the White House.

The senior official said Obama did not offer the job to anyone else, even though a number of high-powered Democratic economists were considered potentially strong candidates to replace him.

Mr. Bernanke, who spent most of his career as a professor of economics, most recently at Princeton, took over the Fed in February 2006. His current four-year term as chairman will expire January 31. — © 2009 The New York Times News Service

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 5:19:54 AM |

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