Ben Bernanke : biography
Ben Shalom BernankeBernanke's first name is Ben, not Benjamin and "Ben Shalom" is not abbreviated. (See: "", Slate, October 24, 2005; see also http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/nominations/106.html) ( ;See . born December 13, 1953) is an American economist and currently chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. During his tenure as chairman, Bernanke has overseen the Federal Reserve's response to the late-2000s financial crisis. Before becoming Federal Reserve chairman, Bernanke was a tenured professor at Princeton University and chaired the department of economics there from 1996 to September 2002, when he went on public service leave. From 2002 until 2005, he was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, proposed the Bernanke Doctrine, and first discussed "the Great Moderation"—the theory that traditional business cycles have declined in volatility in recent decades through structural changes that have occurred in the international economy, particularly increases in the economic stability of developing nations, diminishing the influence of macroeconomic (monetary and fiscal) policy.
Bernanke then served as chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers before President Bush appointed him on February 1, 2006, to be chairman of the United States Federal Reserve. Bernanke was confirmed for a second term as chairman on January 28, 2010, after being re-nominated by President Barack Obama.
Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve
On February 1, 2006, President Bush appointed Bernanke to a fourteen-year term as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and to a four-year term as Chairman. By virtue of the chairmanship, he sits on the Financial Stability Oversight Board that oversees the Troubled Asset Relief Program. He also serves as Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the System's principal monetary policy making body.
His first months as chairman of the Federal Reserve System were marked by difficulties communicating with the media. An advocate of more transparent Fed policy and clearer statements than Greenspan had made, he had to back away from his initial idea of stating clearer inflation goals as such statements tended to affect the stock market. Maria Bartiromo disclosed on CNBC comments from their private conversation at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. She reported that Bernanke said investors had misinterpreted his comments as indicating that he was "dovish" on inflation. He was sharply criticized for making public statements about Fed direction, which he said was a "lapse in judgment."
On August 25, 2009, President Obama announced he would nominate Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. In a short statement on Martha's Vineyard, with Bernanke standing at his side, Obama said Bernanke's background, temperament, courage and creativity helped to prevent another Great Depression in 2008. When Senate Banking Committee hearings on his nomination began on December 3, 2009, several senators from both parties indicated they would not support a second term.
However, Bernanke was confirmed for a second term as Chairman on January 28, 2010, by a 70–30 vote of the full Senate, historically the narrowest margin for any occupant of the position. (For the roll-call vote, see Obama confirmations, 2010.) The Senate first voted 77–23 to end debate, Bernanke winning more than the 60 approval votes needed to overcome the possibility of a filibuster. On a second vote to confirm, the 30 dissents came from 11 Democrats, 18 Republicans and one independent.
Bernanke is portrayed by actor Paul Giamatti in the HBO film Too Big to Fail.
Academic and government career (1979-2006)
Bernanke taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business from 1979 until 1985, was a visiting professor at New York University and went on to become a tenured professor at Princeton University in the Department of Economics. He chaired that department from 1996 until September 2002, when he went on public service leave. He resigned his position at Princeton July 1, 2005.
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