Bernanke Vote on Thursday
The Fed chairman is likely to get a second term.
12:30 PM, Jan 27, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Senate majority leader Harry Reid expects to hold a vote to reappoint Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on January 28. Bernanke needs 60 votes for a second term. Late last week, Bernanke's nomination appeared in jeopardy. But a last-minute triage operation performed over the weekend by White House and Senate Democratic leaders, along with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, may have saved the appointment. Expect a nail-biter, with Republicans criticizing easy money and Democrats criticizing the Fed's opacity.
The Federal Reserve
Bernanke's massive increase in the money supply may have done more than the TARP and stimulus combined to pull the global economy from the brink of disaster. Yes, Bernanke may have been silly when he exonerated the Fed from responsibility for the crisis in a recent speech to the American Economic Association (see John Taylor's response here). Yes, he presided over the bubble. Yes, someone should be held accountable for the crisis. Still, Tyler Cowen makes sense (as usual!):
Like health care, the deficit commission, and the spending freeze, in my view Bernanke's confirmation troubles are more about the current political dynamic than they are about the negligence of the Fed. Bernanke has long been subject to criticism from conservatives and liberals alike, but the White House assumed the president's seal of approval would assure the chairman's re-appointment. In January 2010, however, the seal doesn't count for much. It's amazing what a special election can do.