Bernanke to be Cleared for Second Term Despite Critics
Posted By: Patti Domm | Executive Editor
| 16 Dec 2009 | 11:52 PM ET
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was named "Person of the Year" by Time magazine, but he may not feel much love from the Senate.
The Senate Banking Committee Thursday is scheduled to vote on his renomination in a 9:30 a.m. hearing, a vote that is expected to pass before his confirmation goes to the full Senate in several weeks time.
Bernanke is expected to be confirmed, but he has his critics, including Sen. Jim Bunning, (R-Ky.), who blasted Time's selection as a reward for failure. Some in Congress have complained about the Fed's approach to the financial bail outs and have called for curbs on the Fed's powers.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he is leaning against voting for the Fed chairman, and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. both say they are definitely voting against him.
"The actions that Bernanke took were bold and the image he cast was as a leader," Pimco senior strategist Tony Crescenzi wrote in a quick note yesterday. Crescenzi said few have the qualifications of Bernanke, a former Princeton professor who is an expert on the Great Depression. He also said creativity and open mindedness were hallmarks of the actions Bernanke took during the financial crisis.
As expected Wednesday, the Fed at its final meeting of the year took no action but upgraded its view on the economy. It noted improvements in household balance sheets and said it sees job market deterioration abating.