President Barack Obama has nominated Ben Bernanke for a second term as chairman of the US Central Bank the Federal Reserve.
Obama interrupted his holiday in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts to announce he is seeking to keep Bernanke in place to steer the world’s largest economy out of its deepest downturn since the Great Depression. He hailed the bank chief’s “calm and wisdom” and said he needs to continue the work he’s doing: “Ben Bernanke, has led the Fed through one of the worse financial crisis that this nation and the world has ever faced. As an expert on the causes of the Great Depression, I’m sure Ben never imagined that he would be part of a team responsible for preventing another.” Bernanke thanked Obama for his “unwavering support” of an independent Federal Reserve and vowed to work hard to restore the US economy: “The Federal Reserve, like other economic policy makers, has been challenged by the unprecedented events of the past few years. We have been bold or deliberate as circumstances demanded. But our objective remains constant: to restore a more stable financial and economic environment in which opportunity can again flourish, and in which Americans’ hard work and creativity can receive their proper rewards.” To prevent a collapse of the financial system Bernanke pushed interest rates in the States to near zero and flooded financial markets with hundreds of billions of dollars to unlock the credit freeze. His appointment to a new four-year term must be confirmed by the Senate, the upper house of the US Congress. That is all but certain even though his tactics have been criticised by some politicians who fear they will lead to runaway inflation in the future.