Seriously, Ben Bernanke Might Not Get Reconfirmed
Ben Bernanke's confirmation for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman will go down to the wire and could be a closer vote than seemed likely just a few weeks ago.
Mr. Bernanke's current term as Fed chairman expires at the end of the month, and a Senate confirmation vote has been pushed off until next week at the earliest. Mr. Bernanke met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday as Democratic and Republican leaders surveyed senators to tally votes on the nomination. Mr. Bernanke needs 60 supporters to win approval for another four-year term.
"A few Democrats have publicly said they won't vote for Mr. Bernanke's appointment, so you need Republican support," said Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D., Ill.).
Two Democrats, Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, say they plan to vote against the nomination. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who votes with Democrats, has led the charge from the left against Mr. Bernanke and also plans a "no" vote.
In an interview, Mr. Sanders said other Democratic senators—who haven't indicated their intent publicly—also planned to vote against the nomination to signal displeasure with the Fed's handling of the financial crisis and Wall Street.
"You're beginning to see, maybe this vote is kind of symbolic of one's attitude toward Wall Street, and whether or not we're going to stand up to them and move it in a new direction with new leadership, or whether we keep up the same old same old," Mr. Sanders said.
If the full Senate votes in a similar proportion that the Senate Banking Committee did in its 16-7 approval last month, Mr. Bernanke would receive 69 votes—the fewest since Paul Volcker, who was confirmed 84-16 for a second term in 1983.
Mr. Sanders maintained he has a shot at getting enough Democrats to join a long list of Republicans who are expected to vote against Mr. Bernanke. "It's going to be close," he said.
Some senators spoke against Mr. Bernanke at a closed meeting of Democrats Wednesday. And a number of senators say they remain undecided. "I'm just compiling some information, some thoughts," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.).
Campaign for Liberty says No Audit, No Bernanke. (via the Humble Libertarian)
Let's hop in the Way Back Machine for a second and go back to 2005 when Bernanke hadn't even missed the housing bubble in front of his face yet:
“I was thrilled [at Bernanke’s nomination by President Bush] because he’s a friend and I was just greatly relieved for the country; he was the best choice,” says professor Andrew B. Abel, co-author with Bernanke of a textbook titled Macroeconomics. Abel calls Bernanke, who taught at Stanford University and served as chairman of Princeton University’s economics department, “a very judicious, careful, thoughtful kind of person who is capable of moving an institution in ways that benefit stakeholders as he sees fit. But he will do that in a consultative, deliberate way.” Bernanke will need such talents to work with the Federal Open Market Committee, the group of officials that sets interest rates.
Fapfapfap! Did anyone else hear the squeal when they read that?
("foreign central banks LOL")
Poor Zimbabwe Ben. That motherfucker has it rough. WSJ's Real Time Economics asked what happens if Bernanke doesn't get confirmed and answered with Don Kohn. Bad bad bad, hurry the fuck up and let the bastard go so he can snitch on the NY Fed for AIG. Seriously.