Bernanke is Time’s Person of the Year

Dec 16, 2009 9:16am

What a difference a week makes… Last week, Ben Bernanke faced a public flogging in the Senate Banking Committee, which votes tomorrow on his nomination to a second term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  A vocal minority blamed him for being asleep at the switch as banks leveraged themselves to the hilt with bad loans and called on him to resign.  Today he is being lauded by Time magazine as the man who saved the nation and the world from a second Great Depression. As Bernanke himself has acknowledged, there's some truth to both views. The former Princeton economics professor has been frank to say "mistakes" were made at the Fed, which failed in one of its primary missions of overseeing the safety and soundness of banks.  But he is also quick to argue that without the massive bailouts he and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson engineered last fall, the nation today would be mired in an economic crisis far worse than the one it's in. Bernanke supporters–and there are plenty of them in the financial community–have long said it's tough to get credit for something that didn't happen.  But Time has decided to do just that in naming Bernanke its Person of the Year.  Now we wait for Congress to sign off on him keeping his job for another four years.

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