Support Wanes for New Term for Ben Bernanke

Populist anger is getting to Senate Democrats
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Jan 22, 2010 7:30 AM CST
Where does he stand on the banks?    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, file)
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(Newser) – Ben Bernanke's confirmation for another term as chair of the Federal Reserve is looking shaky, Jake Tapper reports, as Senate Dems, responding to populist rage against Wall Street, weaken in their support. With a hold on the nomination from three senators, 60 votes will be required to bring it to the floor. Harry Reid met with Bernanke yesterday, and said he's looking to the Fed chief for more pressure to be applied to banks to "lend money to small businesses and keep more Americans in their homes."

To shore up his "weakening cause" in the Senate, Bernanke must clarify his position on the banks, writes Simon Johnson for the Huffington Post. There are three key questions:

  • Does he, like Obama, want to limit the "scope and scale" of big banks?
  • If so, should the size of banks be capped "as is," or be scaled back through divestment?
  • If Congress remains hamstrung on this issue, should the fed take the lead?

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