Obama Appoints Bernanke to Second Termby Tim Manni
At around 9 a.m. this morning, President Obama took a break from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to announce his appointment of Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke to a second term. Praising Mr. Bernanke’s calm demeanor and the central bank’s decisive actions during the financial crisis, President Obama seemed confident in his speech that the Fed’s unprecedented strategies have worked and will continue to bring results as the months go by.
As an expert on the causes of the Great Depression, I’m sure Ben never imagined that he would be part of a team responsible for preventing another. But because of his background, his temperament, his courage, and his creativity, that’s exactly what he has helped to achieve. And that is why I am re-appointing him to another term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Ben approached a financial system on the verge of collapse with calm and wisdom; with bold action and outside-the-box thinking that has helped put the brakes on our economic freefall. Almost none of the decisions he or any of us made have been easy. The actions we have taken to stabilize our financial system, repair our credit markets, restructure our auto industry, and pass a recovery package have all been steps of necessity, not choice. They have faced plenty of critics, some of whom argued that we should stay the course or do nothing at all. But taken together, this “bold, persistent experimentation” has brought our economy back from the brink.
Bernanke responded to the nomination with gratitude and pledged growth and prosperity to the American people:
The Federal Reserve, like other economic policymakers, has been challenged by the unprecedented events of the past few years. We have been bold or deliberate as circumstances demanded, but our objective remains constant: to restore a more stable economic and financial environment in which opportunity can again flourish, and in which Americans’ hard work and creativity can receive their proper rewards.
Mr. President, I commit today to you and to the American people that, if confirmed by the Senate, I will work to the utmost of my abilities–with my colleagues at the Federal Reserve and alongside the Congress and the Administration–to help provide a solid foundation for growth and prosperity in an environment of price stability.
The president’s nomination, which still must be approved by the Senate, was widely expected by most, but the promptness in which the president made his decision was a surprise to some (Bernanke’s first term doesn’t expire until January).