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Monday, October 24, 2005

Bush Nominates Ben Bernanke To Be The Next Fed Chief

With Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan stepping down after eighteen years on the job, President Bush today nominated Ben Bernanke to take over Greenspan's post in a few months (January 31, 2006 to be exact), a nomination that many experts feel is a solid and "safe" bet on the part of the president.

Fifty-one-year-old Ben Bernanke has the right background for the job. He is the former chairman of Princeton University's economics department and he currently holds the post of chairman of The White House Council of Economic Advisers. Bernanke has also been given the thumbs-up from some key players and institutions, including current Fed chairman Greenspan, Richard Shelby (the US Senate Banking Committee Chairman-Republican), the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

It would seem that Wall Street is behind Bernanke as well, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose a healthy 169.78 points today on the news of the nomination to finish @ 10,385.00. The NASDAQ and The S&P 500 were also up today.

During his confirmation hearing, you can be sure that Democrats will grill Bernanke hard about his views regarding inflation targeting. After all, if confirmed, his decisions as the Fed chairman will influence the nation's most important banking interest rates and the economy in general.

Federal Reserve Governor Donald Kohn, Harvard's Martin Feldstein and former Bush adviser Glenn Hubbard were all said to have been considered for the post.

Brief comments from Mr. Greenspan were issued via a press release today:

"The President has made a distinguished appointment in Ben Bernanke. Ben comes with superb academic credentials and important insights into the ways our economy functions. I have no doubt that he will be a credit to the nation as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board."

It's kinda' weird to see Greenspan go. He has that old, wise grandfather look and way about him that just grows on you over the years. Let's hope that the next Fed chairman will do at least as well as Mr. Greenspan has during his tenure as Fed chairman. Amen.

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