Bernanke on Offense Ahead of Confirmation Battle

Fed chair makes his case ahead of Senate hearing; Sanders will vote no

By M. Morris,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 29, 2009 4:03 PM CST

(Newser) – Ben Bernanke's reappointment to a second 4-year term is virtually certain, but the path appears likely to be a somewhat rocky one. The Fed chairman's confirmation will be the subject of a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday, and one senator has already said he'll vote no when the matter comes up for a full vote, Reuters reports. Bernanke aggressively defended himself and his institution in an op-ed that appeared in today's Washington Post.

He acknowledged the Fed "like other regulators around the world, did not do all that it could have to constrain excessive risk-taking in the financial sector in the period leading up to the crisis." But pending bills intended to rein in the Fed "are very much out of step with the global consensus on the appropriate role of central banks, and they would seriously impair the prospects for economic and financial stability in the United States," he writes. Meanwhile, Vermont independent Bernie Sanders said on This Week that he "absolutely will not" support Bernanke's reconfirmation.

Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke, right, during a break at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in St. Andrews, Scotland Nov. 7, 2009. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is at left.
Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke, right, during a break at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in St. Andrews, Scotland Nov. 7, 2009. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is at left.   (AP Photo/Andrew Winning, Pool)
Federal chairman Ben S. Bernanke during an address in Chatham, Mass., Oct. 23, 2009. Up for confirmation to a second 4-year term, Bernanke appears before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday.
Federal chairman Ben S. Bernanke during an address in Chatham, Mass., Oct. 23, 2009. Up for confirmation to a second 4-year term, Bernanke appears before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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