Senate Confirms Bernanke
This afternoon, the Senate confirmed Ben Bernanke to a second four year term as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in a 70-30 vote.
Bernanke Confirmed for Second Term at Fed
Despite Bipartisan Criticism, Senate Votes to Give Ben Bernanke Second Term as Chairman of Federal Reserve
Bernanke's confirmation comes as Congress is writing an overhaul of financial regulations aimed at avoiding another financial crisis. The chairman has had to defend the Fed against efforts to diminish its authority.
A House bill would remove its power to oversee consumer protections and would subject it to a sweeping congressional audit. A Senate bill seeks to create a separate consumer entity as well, and would create a single banking regulator that would also strip the Fed of its supervision of bank holding companies.
Bernanke has admitted making mistakes - including underestimating the threat of a booming housing market that eventually went bust and the resulting fallout to the economy. But he insist he has the tools, the know-how and the political backbone to safely steer the recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s. The biggest challenge facing Bernanke this year: deciding when and how to reverse course and boost interest rates to sop up the unprecedented money pumped out during the crisis. That's important to prevent an outbreak of inflation.