WASHINGTON — Though Senate approval to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke's renomination is almost a given, reaction to the news was swift and often strong. Listed below are selected excerpts from some of those that weighed in.
"The man next to me, Ben Bernanke, has led the Fed through one of the worst financial crises that this nation and the world had ever faced. As an expert on 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."
— President Barack Obama"While I have had serious differences with the Federal Reserve over the past few years, I think reappointing Chairman Bernanke is probably the right choice. Chairman Bernanke was too slow to act during the early stages of the foreclosure crisis, but he ultimately demonstrated effective leadership and his reappointment sends the right signal to the markets."
— Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Chairman, Senate Banking Committee"I strongly support President Obama's nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. On the whole, Chairman Bernanke's response to the unprecedented economic crisis has been wise and appropriate. He has acted to provide needed liquidity to the economy and has demonstrated that he is fully ready to reverse course when economic conditions dictate. President Obama's decision to reappoint him now is one more example of his providing leadership the country, and the world, needs as well as addressing the economic situation he inherited. By nominated Chairman Bernanke, he is giving an example of the right kind of bipartisanship."
— Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Chairman, House Financial Services Committee"Consideration of Chairman Bernanke's nomination to serve a second term raises several important issues. The Banking Committee should carefully examine the impact of the Fed's failures as a bank regulator, how such failures contributed to the financial crisis, and whether Chairman Bernanke's performance as the chief regulator merits reconfirmation."
— Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee"There are legitimate criticisms of the Fed, particularly that it dropped the ball for years on consumer protections. But Chairman Bernanke's confirmation hearing should not be used as a stage by those with wrongheaded political agendas like trimming the Fed's independence. Whatever one's view of the Fed's past lapses, there is no disputing that Bernanke is the best person for the job going forward."
— Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., member of the Senate Banking Committee"I am very disappointed that President Obama has decided to nominate Ben Bernanke to continue as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. This is just more evidence that the president has no clue what he is doing when it comes to the economy and solving America's fiscal problems. President Obama missed an opportunity to break from the Greenspan legacy of easy money and lax regulation."
— Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., member of the Senate Banking Committee"Chairman Bernanke has earned the right to see this through and lead the Federal Reserve through these volatile times. I'm sure he hasn't made all the right calls, but he doesn't have a political cell in his body, and that's what you need in a Fed chairman. I believe he wakes up every day trying to focus on what ought to be done for the good of the country - not politics."
— Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn, member of the Senate Banking Committee"As a result of the greed, irresponsibility and illegal behavior of Wall Street, our country has experienced the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. Mr. Bernanke was head of the Fed and the nation's chief economist as the crisis, driven by reckless speculation, developed. Tragically, like the rest of the Bush administration, he was asleep at the wheel during this period and did nothing to move our financial system onto safer grounds."
— Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt."I welcome and strongly support President Obama's decision to nominate Ben Bernanke to a second term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. I have the highest regard for Chairman Bernanke, and the President could not have made a better choice. While the debate over financial regulatory structure continues, it's important to recognize that structural perspectives should not be confused with the quality individuals who may lead those structures."
— Sheila Bair, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp."I think this is an excellent decision. Chairman Bernanke brought unique background and skills to handling the financial crisis that proved invaluable. We'll need those same skills as we transition to economic recovery in the coming years."
— John Dugam, Comptroller of the Currency"Dr. Bernanke has done an excellent job in extremely trying circumstances and has earned a new term as Chairman."
— Alan Greenspan, former chairman, Federal Reserve Board"Chairman Bernanke has shown exemplary leadership during a time of tremendous stress to our financial sector and the U.S. economy as a whole. It is truly fortuitous that one of the nation's preeminent Depression-era scholars was fated to lead the Federal Reserve System during a time when our nation faced the most significant economic crisis since the Great Depression."
— Neil Milner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Conference of State Bank Supervisors"This decision sends a strong signal to Wall Street and the international financial community that we're not changing horses in mid stream during our economic recovery. Chairman Bernanke has led the Federal Reserve with intelligence and wisdom, and will be a reliable guide as our economy recovers and new challenges emerge."