Bernanke or Bust

More

Was there really a choice about reappointing Ben Bernanke to chair the Fed? President Obama's team leaked the announcement last night and the two will stand together before the cameras this morning at the high school on Martha's Vineyard just before the markets open in New York. Obama could have pushed the Fed to the left with an Alan Blinder, a top Fed official in the Clinton years, or made a diversity appointment. But Bernanke has what passes for market confidence these days and whatever you think of the last year of financial crisis management from the former Princeton professor, he certainly took the Fed in new directions--remaking the institution with a series of aggressive actions that either saved the world, if you look at it optimistically, or set the stage for the hyperinflation to come, if you're a pessimist. Either way, how could Obama not pick the quiet man of action? The timing of the announcement was a surprise since the White House had vowed no news would be made on the presidential vacation. But the choice itself couldn't be less surprising.

So future historians? Who will turn out to be the most important George W. Bush hire? Dick Cheney, who drove the war and an aggressive foreign policy that changed Iraq and the Middle East? John Roberts, who will probably reign over the Supreme Court for decades, shaping opinions on everything from gun control to free speech? Or will it be Bernanke, another Republican pick like Alan Greenspan, who the Democratic president felt he had no choice but to keep. Discuss amongst yourselves....

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

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

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In