In Turmoil, Bernanke Forged New Persona

Fed chief sheds academic image with crisis management; some worry he went too far
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted May 28, 2008 10:50 AM CDT
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake speaks during a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago conference.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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(Newser) – Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke’s aggressive actions in March to douse the fire consuming financial markets won him fans on Wall Street and elsewhere, but created a cadre of critics who say the “Bernanke Doctrine” fuels inflation and hurts the dollar, the New York Times reports. “It has been a really head-spinning range of unprecedented and bold actions,” said one expert.

Bernanke’s moves, critics say, also put billions of public dollars into questionable investments and forever changed the central bank’s role. Bernanke, too, has changed, analysts say. Becoming "somewhat Buddha-like," his “growing understanding of the hardball ways the system actually works” has taken him out of his former academic self and created a legacy that will “be examined for decades.”