Economists give Ben Bernanke a big hug in a new Wall Street Journal survey. Most declare that the recession is over and nearly all in the group of 53 think President Obama should keep Bernanke in charge of the Fed when his term expires in January. Twenty-seven economists say the recession that began in December 2007 is kaput, and another 11 say it will be in a month or so.
They credit Bernanke for pulling the right strings, even if he made mistakes along the way, such as letting Lehman Brothers fail. "He deserves a lot of credit for stabilizing the financial markets," said one respondent. "Confidence in recovery would be damaged if he was not reappointed."