Time Names Ben Bernanke Person of the Year
Beats out Usain Bolt, Nancy Pelosi, and Stanley McChrystal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2009 6:56 AM CST
Updated Dec 16, 2009 7:49 AM CST
The cover of TIME's latest issue, declaring Ben Bernanke the Person of the Year.   (TIME)

(Newser) Time has named Ben Bernanke its “Person of the Year” for 2009, crediting him with saving the world’s financial system and dubbing him “the most powerful nerd on the planet.” This year was all about the economy, explains Michael Grunwald in his voluminous feature, “and it’s Bernanke’s economy.” As Fed chairman, “his creative leadership helped ensure that 2009 was a period of weak recovery, rather than catastrophic depression.”

Bernanke beat out Stanley McChrystal, Nancy Pelosi, Usain Bolt, and “the Chinese Worker” for the honor. In his editorial explaining the pick, Richard Stengel says he’s “convinced the economy would look much, much worse” if Bernanke hadn’t applied his years of academic study on the Great Depression toward preventing another one. Of course Bernanke admits he made mistakes, and that the economy isn’t great. “I’m not happy with where we are,” he says, “but it’s a lot better than where we could be.”