Bernanke’s Back


President Obama is to reappoint Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to another four-year term today on Martha’s Vineyard.

Bernanke will get a chance to finish what he started, though he may not enjoy getting his wish.

The next four years will be a defining era for the US, with unwinding of Bernanke’s policies being the least of it.

Overnight markets seem to shrug off the news, with Asian markets falling and US futures called 1% lower.

Bernanke, who will be the most powerful Fed chief should all the new Obama financial regulations be enacted, will return from Martha’s Vineyard to find a hostile majority-supported House measure that wants to look inside the Fed’s bank books, providing Barney Frank remembers what planet he is on and moves the measure out of committee.

And just yesterday a federal court ruled that under a Freedom of Information Act filing the Fed must release information on what troubled banks are coming to the discount window for funds within five days of their getting the cash.

My biggest wonder is if Ben will get a pass from the Senate Banking panel during his confirmation hearings. I would hope not, we need to know what Ben the kingmaker was doing during the Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros. and Merill Lynch weekends.

I’m also happy Obama is not breaking up the Plunge Protection Team, because it took Treasury’s Tim Geithner until March to ramp up and find the buy button under his desk.

I suppose Obama always has White House economic adviser Larry Summers asleep in the corner should Ben not pass muster.

Well I wish Ben well and perhaps we can hold a “bank holiday” when he gets confirmed by the Senate.

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