In a stunning
move, Senator Bernie Sanders is putting a hold on the nomination of Fed chief Ben Bernanke. Exploiting an arcane rule in the Senate, the
independent lawmaker from Vermont could delay Bernanke's confirmation
into next year. Speaking out against the chairman, Sanders said
"Clearly, this guy is part of the problem... I hope the president will
a new nominee."
Though Sanders's move is unlikely to torpedo the confirmation, Harry Reid
must now win the approval of 60 senators before a vote is taken. Across the blogosphere, Sanders sparked new debate
over Bernanke's credibility:
"Sanders Is Serious," writes John Nichols at The Nation: "He
is not merely delaying consideration of the Benanke nomination. He is
calling on Obama to withdraw the nomination and propose someone else as
the next head of the Fed...Sanders acted for exactly the right reason...Bernanke was, and is, the face of everything that is wrong with the
crony-capitalism model of 'regulation' developed by the Fed under its
previous chair, Ayn Rand acolyte Alan Greenspan."
- It's About Time, writes Matt Taibbi: "Bernanke doesn’t bear as much responsibility for the financial crisis
as Greenspan, but his policies have certainly been in many ways a
continuation of the the Greenspan era, which combined an extreme
soft-touch regulatory posture (to put it mildly; it might be more
accurate to say that the Fed hasn’t had a regulatory record
for the last decade or so) with a Dionysan, drink-and-be-merry, fully
enabling attitude toward the risk-taking crowd on Wall Street."
- "The Country Needs a New Fed Chief," writes The Wall Street Journal editorial board: "The real problem is Mr. Bernanke's record before the panic, with its
troubling implications for a second four years. When George W. Bush
nominated the Princeton economist four years ago, we offered the
backhanded compliment that at least he'd have to clean up the mess that
the Alan Greenspan Fed had made. That mess turned out to be bigger than
even we thought, but we also didn't know then how complicit Mr.
Bernanke was in Mr. Greenspan's monetary decisions."
- We Should Be Grateful to Have Bernanke, write the editors
of Foreign Policy. The magazine praises the " Zen-like chairman of the
U.S. Federal Reserve... for turning his superb academic career into a
for action, for single-handedly reinventing the role of a central bank
[and] for preventing the collapse of the U.S. economy... to have done
all of these within the span of a few months is certainly one of the
greatest intellectual feats of recent years."
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