RTTNews - U.S. President Barack Obama is set to reappoint Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for a second four-year term, according to several media reports on Monday evening.
Citing White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, the reports said that Obama is expected to make the nomination on Tuesday from Martha's Vineyard, where the First Family is spending a week of vacation.
Obama credits Bernanke with pulling the economy back from the brink of depression, Emanuel said.
As a result, the president has decided to stick with the man that George W. Bush nominated for the position in 2006, citing continuity and a job well done. Bernanke's term was to expire at the end of January, and his reappointment will require senate confirmation. His term as a policy board member does not expire until 2020.
In tackling the harshest national economic decline since the Great Depression, Bernanke has pared the primary interest rate to near zero, led the rescue of Bear Stearns and American International Group and also poured $1 trillion into the financial system to stabilize the banks.
The Fed chief still has to contend with an economy that has been mired in recession for more than a year, an unemployment rate approaching 10 percent and the threat of runaway inflation following trillions of dollars in stimulus spending.
Bernanke is not without his detractors, who first complained that the chairman was too slow and behind the curve in addressing the economic slowdown. Later, he was criticized for overstepping his authority on a futile course of action.
Buying up the bad debt of privileged institutions and dumping worthless assets on the American people is morally wrong and economically futile, Texas representative Ron Paul is on record as telling Bernanke during congressional questioning.
He has also drawn fire for allegedly pressuring Bank of America to acquire Lehman Brothers in what was perceived as government interference in private enterprise.
But Emanuel, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and chief economic adviser Larry Summers all recommended to the president that Bernanke be retained, according to reports.
Bernanke was born in December 1953 in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in Dillon, South Carolina. He received a B.A. in economics in 1975 from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in economics in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton since 1985 to 1996.
He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2002 to 2005 and has been a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia, Boston and New York before moving up to Federal Reserve Chairman.
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