Friday, January 22, 2010

Bernanke out as Fed chairman?

The New York Times reports bad news for Ben Bernanke. He may not have the votes to be confirmed:
The confirmation of Ben S. Bernanke to a second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve ran into further trouble on Friday, as two more Democratic senators said they would vote against him.

The White House came to Mr. Bernanke’s defense Friday, but the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is believed to be struggling to come up with the 60 votes necessary to confirm Mr. Bernanke before his term as chairman expires on Jan. 31.

In a statement Friday morning, Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, came out against Mr. Bernanke, who was named to his post during the Bush administration. She said she had “a lot of respect” for him and praised him for preventing the economic crisis from getting even worse. “However, it is time for a change,” she said. “It is time for Main Street to have a champion at the Fed.”

“Our next Federal Reserve chairman must represent a clean break from the failed policies of the past,” Ms. Boxer said.

Another Democratic senator, Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, also announced Friday that he would vote against Mr. Bernanke.

“Under the watch of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve permitted grossly irresponsible financial activities that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,” Mr. Feingold said in a statement.

Because several senators are using procedural methods to try to block Mr. Bernanke from serving another term, it will require 60 votes for him to be confirmed. Congressional Democrats said they do not have a firm sense of how many votes Mr. Bernanke can count on, and Mr. Reid has not scheduled a vote.
Russ Feingold's reasoning is far better than Barbara Boxer's. Her reasoning is populist and naive. I am glad they both oppose Bernanke's reappointment, however.

If President Obama needs a last minute replacement, I hear former Fed chairman Paul Volcker is still alive and kicking.


  1. Her point about him being appointed during a republican term got me thinking - are there alot of Reublican votes against Bernanke? I mean we know Dems are split, but what about Repubs? I could almost see him as having support as one of "their guys".

  2. The feds need new blood, unconnected to the biggest fleecing of tax payers in history. Not his fault? maybe. but we want new blood.
    Also, one does not fix bubbles caused by cheap money with more cheap money. The cure can not be the cause of the disease. Finally, we need someone who has a bit of a mcro view and not only macro. I understand that if the ecomomy "dies" we all die, but saving the fat cats that caused the crisis and seeing them party while main street is still bleeding is a political liability for Obama and Congress.
    So Helicopter Ben should go back to theories and leave the practice to new untainted blood!!

  3. If they oppose him, who do they like for the position? You don't fire your football coach when you don't have a better replacement. You don't want to have to settle for Jim Zorn. I'm not saying we don't need someone else, but who?

  4. It looks like DC is finally realizing that the banksters took everyone for a ride. I don't know who would be a better choice, but someone who doesn't have a direct hand in creating the mess might be a far better choice.

  5. Dump Bernanke! I'll be happy with any replacement that will let the rate float on the basis of market demand.

  6. Bernanke should never have been in the Fed. Geitner should be gone too. They have created more problems that anyone could have ever imagined (except Austrian Economists).

    Let's get a someone in with a the strongest background in Austrian Economics! It is our only hope at this point of saving the economy.

  7. Let's get a someone in with a the strongest background in Austrian Economics! It is our only hope at this point of saving the economy.

    Ahh yes - get an Austrian in there - one of those who deny the "freerider" problem can even exist. Brilliant!!!

    Guido Calabrese for fed chairman!