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Will opposition get Bernanke thinking?

Marketplace Staff Jan 25, 2010
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Will opposition get Bernanke thinking?

Marketplace Staff Jan 25, 2010
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Bill Radke: The White House says Ben Bernanke has enough support to return as Federal Reserve chair. In the last few days, some senators have lined up against Bernanke’s confirmation. But presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett told NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday the votes are there.

Valerie Jarrett: President Obama checked in with the leadership over the weekend, and he heard from Senator Reed that there is a lot of support for Ben Bernanke. We are confident that the chairman will be confirmed.

Marketplace’s Brett Neely tells us the pushback in the Senate stems from the public’s frustration over the anemic economy.


Brett Neely: Critics charge Bernanke hasn’t done enough to fight unemployment and is too tied to the policies that helped cause the financial crisis. But UC San Diego economist James Hamilton says the senators are looking after themselves.

James Hamilton: The politicians would like to run from the current situation and disassociate themselves from it as much as they can, and opposing Bernanke is one very symbolic way to do that.

Former Fed official Ted Truman says the senators may hope that their opposition will make Bernanke think twice about adopting unpopular policies, like raising interest rates. But he says good luck — the Fed values its independence.

Ted Truman: Once he’s there, he’s going to behave as he’s going to be behave.

If the Senate doesn’t vote on the nomination this week, Bernanke will have to step down. Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, would temporarily take his place.

In Washington, I’m Brett Neely for Marketplace.

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