Report Card: Last Year's List

Ben Bernanke: Chairman of the Federal Reserve

Why We Picked Him: He was using almost every tool in the box--and creating some new ones--in order to stop the economy from falling apart in 2008 and 2009.

Report Card: By all accounts, quantifying Bernanke's success requires proving a negative: the true measurement of his ingenuity isn't how well the economy is doing, but how much worse it could have been if he hadn't acted as he did. He helped to bring the recession to its official end in June 2009, but no one--least of all Bernanke--claims the recovery will be quick and easy. He will continue to oversee U.S. monetary policy for the next few years, as he was nominated by President Obama to a second term as chairman and confirmed by the Senate in January.

Presented by

Sarah Nathan is a story researcher for The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in National

Just In