Bernanke to succeed Greenspan as US Fed chief
Updated: 2005-10-25 09:27
Ben Bernanke, a plain-speaking former economics professor, was chosen Monday
by US President Bush to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, the most
influential economic policy job in the world.
If approved by the Senate, Bernanke would succeed Alan Greenspan, who has
spent 18 years at the helm and is expected to step down Jan. 31. Bush called
Greenspan a "legend," and Bernanke promised to continue the chairman's policies.
"Ben has done path-breaking work in the field of monetary policy, taught
advanced economics at some of our top universities and served with distinction
on the Fed's Board of Governors," said Bush, who was flanked by Bernanke and
Greenspan during a brief White House ceremony. "He's earned a reputation for
intellectual rigor and integrity. He commands deep respect in the global
Greenspan called Bush's choice "a
distinguished appointment. Ben comes with superb academic credentials and
important insights into the ways our economy functions."
Ben Bernanke, President Bush's top economic
adviser, speaks in the Oval Office at the White House after Bush named him
to take over the Federal Reserve from retiring Alan Greenspan, in
Washington, Monday, Oct. 24, 2005.
It was the third time in as many years that Bush has turned to the
51-year-old Bernanke for a sensitive economic post. The president named him to
the Fed board in 2002, then made him chairman of the president's Council of
Economic Advisers earlier this year.
The nomination comes at a difficult time for Bush. His approval ratings are
sagging, his choice of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court is under attack, and
his top political adviser — Karl Rove — is a central figure in the investigation
of who leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer.
The initial reaction to Bernanke was positive. Academics, Republican and
Democratic lawmakers, economists and other experts said Bernanke, a leading
thinker on monetary policy, has impeccable academic credentials for the Fed
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average soared nearly 170 points,
the best one-day showing in six months.
Bernanke (pronounced ber-NANK-ee) acknowledged that he has big shows to fill,
saying Greenspan "has set the standard for excellence in economic
If he is approved to a four-year term as Fed chairman, Bernanke said, his
first priority would be "to maintain continuity" with the policies and
strategies during the Greenspan era. He pledged to do all he could to ensure
"the continued prosperity and stability of the American economy."