Ben Bernanke profile: the Federal Reserve’s man at the top — Wiki: Bernanke Background — Obama nominates Fed chairman Bernanke for second term — The troubling side of Ben Bernanke — Bernanke 60 Minutes Video — The Fed’s Red Herring — Human Events Quizzes Bernanke at London School of Economics
As Obama prepares to nominate him for a second term as head of the Fed, we look at the ups and ups of ‘Helicopter Ben’
Julia Kollewe and Ashley Seager, 25 August 2009
Ben Bernanke, the 55-year-old chairman of the US Federal Reserve, won the nickname “Helicopter Ben” for describing quantitative easing as akin to dropping money from helicopters in 2002. He was quoting the US economist Milton Friedman, who had said it would be theoretically possible for governments to drop large amounts of cash out of helicopters for the public to pick up and spend.
Seven years later, that policy was in effect put into practice as central banks around the world, led by the Fed, adopted quantitative easing to kickstart their economies and ward off deflation – a period of falling prices that would be highly damaging for the economy.
Faced with the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, Bernanke slashed interest rates to nearly zero and pumped an unprecedented amount of money into markets to prevent the collapse of the financial system.
Bernanke, a former Princeton University professor and expert on the Great Depression, was appointed by George Bush to replace Alan Greenspan at the helm of the Fed in January 2006. He previously served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. A well-respected monetary economist, he had a high profile when working as one of the Fed governors and was one of the favourites to succeed Greenspan.
The son of a pharmacist, Bernanke was educated at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate school, where he wrote his doctorate thesis on the Great Depression, the full explanation for which he has described as “the holy grail of macroeconomics”. He was chairman of the economics department at Princeton until he joined the Federal Reserve board of governors in 2002.
He coined the phrase of fine-tuning inflation to a “Goldilocks” level: not too hot, nor too cold.
In a speech in 2002, entitled “Deflation: making sure it does not happen here”, he argued that the Fed should do whatever it took – such as cutting interest rates to zero, thereby flooding the economy with liquidity – to ensure that prices did not start falling, as had been happening in Japan for more than a decade.
Born in Augusta, Georgia, Bernanke was raised in a ranch house on East Jefferson Street in Dillon, South Carolina. His father Philip was a pharmacist and part-time theater manager, and his mother Edna was originally a schoolteacher. He is the eldest of three children, having a brother and sister. His younger brother, Seth, is a lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina, and his younger sister, Sharon, is a longtime administrator at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
The Bernankes were one of the few Jewish families in the area, attending a local synagogue called Ohav Shalom; as a child, Bernanke learned Hebrew from his maternal grandfather Harold Friedman, who was a professional hazzan and Hebrew teacher. His father and uncle co-owned and managed a drugstore that they bought from his paternal grandfather, Jonas Bernanke. Jonas was born in Boryslav, Austria-Hungary (today part of Ukraine), on January 23, 1891, and immigrated to the United States from Przemyśl, Poland (part of Austria-Hungary until 1919).
He arrived at Ellis Island, age 30, Thursday, June 30, 1921, with his wife Pauline, age 25. On the ship’s manifest, Jonas’ occupation is listed as “clerk” and Pauline’s as “doctor med.” They moved to Dillon, South Carolina, from New York in the 1940s. Bernanke’s mother often worked there as well, having given up her job as a school teacher when he was born, and Bernanke also assisted from time to time.
Bernanke was educated at East Elementary, J. V. Martin Junior High, and Dillon High School, where he was class valedictorian. At age 11, Bernanke won the state spelling bee competition but finished 26th overall at the national competition in Washington, tripping up on the word “edelweiss.” Bernanke also taught himself calculus, edited the school newspaper, and achieved a near-perfect SAT score of 1590 out of 1600.
He was also an All-State saxophonist, playing in the school’s marching band. Bernanke spent his undergraduate years at Harvard University and graduated with a BA in economics summa cum laude in 1975. He received a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979. His thesis was named “Long-term commitments, dynamic optimization, and the business cycle” and his thesis adviser was Stanley Fischer.
Bernanke worked construction on a new hospital and waited tables at a restaurant at nearby South of the Border before leaving for college. During the summer, he attended Camp Ramah located in New England. To support himself throughout college, he worked during the summers at South of the Border, a roadside attraction in his hometown of Dillon.
‘As an expert in the causes of the Great Depression, I’m sure Ben never imagined he would be part of a team working to prevent another one,’ the US president said
Andrew Clark and Larry Elliott, 25 August 2009
President Barack Obama today nominated the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, to serve a second four-year term, delivering a vote of confidence that the US central bank chief is the right man to steer the world’s largest economy out of the deepest recession since the 1930s.
In a pre-emptive move to end speculation on the financial markets about the Fed’s leadership, Obama interrupted his summer holiday at the seaside resort of Martha’s Vineyard to announce that he wanted Bernanke to continue when his term officially ends in February. The decision is subject to ratification by Congress, where some Republicans have criticised Bernanke’s willingness to intervene in the free market.
Standing alongside Bernanke, the president praised the Fed chairman’s temperament, courage and creativity: “Ben approached a financial system on the verge of collapse with calm and wisdom, with bold action and with outside-the-box thinking that has helped put the brakes on our economic freefall.”
Obama’s decision came amid encouraging signs for the US economy. A monthly measure of consumer confidence improved sharply. The Conference Board’s index of confidence jumped from 46.6 in July to 54.1, easily exceeding analysts’ expectations. During early trading, Wall Street stocks shrugged off a new White House forecast that the budget deficit will total $9tn (£5.5tn) over the next decade to power into positive territory.
A Harvard-educated economist, Bernanke, 55, is a rare appointee from the Bush administration to find favour with the White House under President Obama. He has presided over a drop in interest rates to near zero and has helped mastermind bailout measures intended to rescue ailing financial institutions and car manufacturers.
During his academic career prior to joining the Fed, Bernanke wrote extensively on the policy mistakes which led to the Great Depression that crippled the US during the 1930s. Referring to this, Obama said: “As an expert in the causes of the Great Depression, I’m sure Ben never imagined he would be part of a team working to prevent another one.”
His willingness to pump liquidity into the economy and rescue teetering institutions has brought its share of criticism, particularly among economic conservatives who worry about the size of America’s budget deficit.
Bernanke has faced a tough time in Congressional sessions for failing to anticipate the depth of the downturn, although in a speech in Jackson Hole last week he insisted policymakers in the US and elsewhere had responded with “speed and force”.
He has attracted controversy for failing to use the Fed’s majority stake to stop the stricken insurer AIG from paying out huge bonuses to its executives, and for encouraging a contentious deal in which Bank of America bought the Wall Street brokerage Merrill Lynch.
Stephen Lewis, economist with Monument Securities, said the Bernanke Fed had reacted no more quickly to the crisis than his much-maligned predecessors in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Fed’s discount rate fell from 6% to 3% in the six months after the Wall Street Crash of October 1929, while Bernanke cut the cost of borrowing from 5.25% to 3% in the six months after the seizure in the financial markets of August 2007.
Many financiers, however, feel that the Fed boss has played a tough hand of cards with a shrewd eye. A recent Bloomberg poll of investors and financial decision-makers found that 75% held a favourable view of Bernanke’s policies.
On the Democratic side of the aisle, Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate banking committee, offered only a cautious endorsement of Bernanke’s reappointment, accusing the Fed boss of acting insufficiently swiftly to aid millions of mortgage borrowers struggling to avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. Dodd said: “While I have had serious differences with the Federal Reserve over the past few years, I think reappointing chairman Bernanke is probably the right choice.”
The White House said Obama wanted to end speculation over the issue to put himself more in a “vacation mode”. Wearing an open-necked shirt at his Massachusetts bolthole, Obama said many of the measures taken over the past two years had been “steps of necessity, not choice”. The president views Bernanke as a key figure in delivering change to the financial system – including an overhaul of the US regulatory framework and tighter management of risks taken by financial institutions.
“We need Ben to continue the work he’s doing,” said Obama. “We cannot go back to an economy based on over-leveraged banks, inflated profits and maxed-out credit cards.”
One leading figure likely to be disappointed by Obama’s decision is Larry Summers, a top White House economic adviser. Summers is said to have coveted the job of chairing the Fed and was widely mooted as a successor to Bernanke.
Thanking Obama for his support, Bernanke pledged to work to the “utmost” of his abilities for “a solid foundation of growth and prosperity in an environment of price stability”. Bernanke paid tribute to the work of his colleagues at the Fed since the credit crunch began in 2007: “Through the long nights and weekends and the time away from their families, they have never lost sight of the critical importance of the work of the Fed for the economic well-being of all Americans.”
He has saved the world but he helped cause the crisis in the first place, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.
Telegraph – By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Published: 25 Aug 2009
Ben Bernanke has proved himself a heroic fire-fighter, saving world from a calamitous spiral into debt deflation by showering markets with liquidity.
A good thing too. He helped cause the raging fire of 2007-2009 in the first place. As a Princeton professor and then a junior Federal Reserve governor, Mr Bernanke was the intellectual architect of his predecessor Alan Greenspan’s policies that so distorted global finance and pushed debt to historic extremes.
Indeed, he was picked to join the Fed because he provided academic cover for Greenspan’s view that asset bubbles do not matter. He blamed credit excesses on Asia’s “saving glut”, arguing that reserve accumulation by export nations suppressed global bond yields. That let the Fed off the hook for its own role in driving the US savings rate to zero – and consumption through the roof – by holding interest rates below “Wicksell’s Natural Rate”.
It is this twin-sided nature of Bernanke that raises nagging questions about his reappointment as chairman of the Fed. He has admitted errors: it was wrong to think the sub-prime crisis could be contained. But he has yet to acknowledge that his economic ideology is deeply flawed.
Bill White, former chief economist at the Bank for International Settlements, said the error of the central banking fraternity over past 20 years has been to cut real interest rates ever lower to keep the game going. This has lured the world into a debt trap. The effect is to keep drawing prosperity from the future – until the future arrives.
“It does the job for a while but moves in interest rates have to be ever more violent to achieve the same effect. My worry is that we may have reached the point where the policy ceases to work altogether.
“These imbalances come back to haunt you, and that is where the world now is. People have been induced to bring forward purchases by taking on debt and there has been a massive expansion in corporate investment,” he said.
Economists call this critique “intertemporal misallocation”. It is a favourite of the Austrian School. It plays almost no role in the “New Keynesian” thinking of Bernanke.
His reflex is to see any fall in demand as an outside shock to be corrected by extra stimulus. What he does not accept is that the adrenal glands of the economic system have been depleted by perpetual credit stimulus, giving the world a form of Addison’s Disease.
Bernanke made his name studying the “credit channel” causes of depressions, chiefly drawing on the 1930s. He was quick to see the danger when the financial system had its heart attack on August 20, 2007, the day yields on three-month Treasuries collapsed on flight to safety.
He dusted off his manual for fighting slumps – his 2002 speech, Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Here – and coolly embarked on monetary revolution. Rates were slashed to zero. The Fed stepped into to prop up the banks, commercial paper, mortgage securities, and finally Treasuries. Nothing like this had been tried before. He did so against fierce resistance from Fed hawks. Only a man so convinced of his mission could have pulled it off.
Given his calmness under fire, and his grasp of credit mechanics, it makes sense for President Barack Obama to give him a second term. We are not out of danger. The markets might have taken fright at a political appointee.
Yet Bernanke’s certainty is troubling. The thrust of his academic writings is that the Depression was a “financial event” that could have been avoided if the Fed had flooded the economy with money (by bond purchases) to prevent a banking crash.
This theory – half-Friedmanite – has merits. The Fed made horrible mistakes. But it neglects other causes of the slump: industrial over-capacity created by the 1920s bubble, so like today.
It also led to the Greenspan doctrine that central banks can let stock market and housing booms run their course, stepping in to “clean up afterwards”.
Bernanke spelled out the policy bluntly in his 2002 speech. “The US Government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost,” he said.
The “no cost” flippancy grates now. Washington says the damage will lift the US federal debt by $9 trillion (£5.5 trillion) over the next decade, pushing the total towards 100pc of GDP. In any case, the Fed cannot use this machinery so easily after all. Foreigners own 40pc of US Treasury debt and have a partial veto on the policy. Overt attempts to “monetise” US debt will cause the policy to short-circuit. Investors will dump US bonds.
Bernanke’s theoretical model is clearly wrong – since he was blind-sided two years ago – and must lead him into fresh error. The risk is that he will mismanage the Fed’s “exit strategy” by tightening policy too soon on the false assumption that recovery is secure. He knows this was the Fed blunder of 1936-1937, but also seems to think he has basically licked our Great Recession of 2008-2009. Has he really?
As Mark Twain put it: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’
The Fed’s Red Herring July 22, 2009
During Congressional hearings yesterday, the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was again questioned vigorously by Congressman Ron Paul regarding more transparency at the Fed. Congressman Paul has introduced H.R. 1207 which would demand more transparency from the Federal Reserve.
Currently, and shockingly, the assets, liabilities, and other investments of the Federal Reserve are not open to public scrutiny nor to the scrutiny of just about anyone. No one outside the circle of the Federal Reserve has any idea just how much, and what make up, the current investment portfolio of the Federal Reserve is and how it’s doing. Here’s how Bernanke justified the limited scrutiny of the Federal Reserve.
We have recently taken additional steps to better inform the public about the programs we have instituted to combat the financial crisis. We expanded our website this year to bring together already available information as well as considerable new information on our policy programs and financial activities.
In June, we initiated a monthly report to the Congress (also posted on our website) that provides even more information on Federal Reserve liquidity programs, including breakdowns of our lending, the associated collateral, and other facets of programs established to address the financial crisis. These steps should help the public understand the efforts that we have taken to protect the taxpayer as we supply liquidity to the financial system and support the functioning of key credit markets.
The Congress has recently discussed proposals to expand the audit authority of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the Federal Reserve. As you know, the Federal Reserve is already subject to frequent reviews by the GAO. The GAO has broad authority to audit our operations and functions.
The Congress recently granted the GAO new authority to conduct audits of the credit facilities extended by the Federal Reserve to “single and specific” companies under the authority provided by section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, including the loan facilities provided to, or created for, American International Group and Bear Stearns. The GAO and the Special Inspector General have the right to audit our TALF program, which uses funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program.
The Congress, however, purposefully–and for good reason–excluded from the scope of potential GAO reviews some highly sensitive areas, notably monetary policy deliberations and operations, including open market and discount window operations. In doing so, the Congress carefully balanced the need for public accountability with the strong public policy benefits that flow from maintaining an appropriate degree of independence for the central bank in the making and execution of monetary policy.
Financial markets, in particular, likely would see a grant of review authority in these areas to the GAO as a serious weakening of monetary policy independence. Because GAO reviews may be initiated at the request of members of Congress, reviews or the threat of reviews in these areas could be seen as efforts to try to influence monetary policy decisions.
A perceived loss of monetary policy independence could raise fears about future inflation, leading to higher long-term interest rates and reduced economic and financial stability. We will continue to work with the Congress to provide the information it needs to oversee our activities effectively, yet in a way that does not compromise monetary policy independence.
In other words, there’s already plenty of transparency and any more would make the Federal Reserve politicized. The Chariman worries that if the Congress knew too much, they would try and influence monetary policy. Keep in mind that the portfolio of the Federal Reserve is likely in the several trillions. Yet, the same Federal Reserve would like absolutely no sunshine on exactlyt the make up of this portfolio because they worry that too much sunshine might politicize their decision making process.
This is a total red herring. The Federal Reserve chairman and all the Governors are selected and their terms are four years. The testimony the Chairman just gave is a regular occurrence. Of course, it’s very difficult to question an individual when you really don’t know exactly what he’s doing. There’s already some political pressure on the Fed. Yet, they are a totally independent financial institution. The decisions of the Chairman and the board are final. Short of corruption, removing any of them prior to the end of their terms is nearly impossible.
Sunshine influencing monetary policy is much more perception than reality. Sure, Congress can pontificate and bloviate. They can do that now. Frankly, most of them wouldn’t have the first clue what any of the numbers mean anyway. The decisions of the Fed and its board are final and independent. Yet, transparency is critical. The Federal Reserve holds onto trillions of dollar investments.
The bank literally controls and manipulates the money supply. Yet, the people of this country have absolutely no idea what’s going on. We don’t know how much is in the portfolio. We don’t know how it’s made up. Near daily, the Federal Reserve manipulates the money supply by buying and selling securities. Yet, the public doesn’t know. That’s neither open or transparent. In fact, the Federal Reserve operates as monetarial MONARCH. Transparency would be the first step toward reducing its power, and that’s what this anti transparency stance is really all about.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke flew into London to meet with Governor Mervyn King, his counterpart at the Bank of England, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown at #10 Downing Street on Tuesday. He then went on to deliver the annual Joseph Charles Stamp Memorial Lecture entitled “The Crisis and the Policy Response” to our current global financial system meltdown.Human Events was there to cover the event — and to quiz Dr. Bernanke in the Q&A session on his Keynesian approach to the systemic money problem.
The world’s media covered the event live, including the BBC, CNBC, Fox News, CNN, and Bloomberg. For a clip of our Q&A, see: CNBC Video.OK. So here’s the problem. Keynesian solutions just don’t work. Throwing money from helicopters (or more likely C-17’s today) might just pull us out of the Great Depression II, but as we stretch the rubber band, eventually the block of deadweight banking system credit will finally spring to life and violently overshoot way before future Fed and Treasury Secretaries can reel in the excess money.
The result? Massive inflation from 2010 onwards. 25-30% would not be surprising through the teens. Yikes! (That’s a techno-speak economist term for holy s***, it’s that bad…) So if you think gold is high at $850 today, wait until it reaches $3,000 a troy ounce. Ditto commodities (especially agriculture).
Jim Rogers has been warning about this probability for the past year. He’s been riding the commodity prices all the way down in the process — and he’s still positive about their future. I, for one, wouldn’t easily bet against the co-founder (along with George Soros) of the Quantum Fund.
At the London School of Economics, former home (1931-1950) of Austrian-school founder and Nobel Prize winner Fredrich von Hayek, Dr. Bernanke went on to point out all the Keynesian goodies he has in his “toolkit” which the Fed is using to overcome the crisis.
Chairman Bernanke acknowledges that the bottom line problem — which began with the funny-money mortgages politically made to underqualified borrowers — has seqway’d into a full-blown global loss of trust by just about everyone, consumers and bankers alike, in the present financial system.
Or, in FedSpeak: “Rising credit risks and intense risk aversion have pushed credit spreads to unprecedented levels…Heightened systemic risks, falling asset values and tightening credit have in turn taken a heavy toll on business and consumer confidence and participated a sharp slowing in global economic activity. The damage, in terms of lost output, lost jobs, and lost wealth, is already substantial”.
Of course, the unspoken statement is that the reason that the people don’t trust the present fractional banking system — and are hording their precious cash — is that the entire system is a house of cards, or more like the game of chairs where the last person standing when the music stops doesn’t have a chair to sit on. And nobody wants to be that last person standing when the music stops.
Bernanke goes on to observe, chillingly: “the global economy will recover, but the timing and strength of the recovery are highly uncertain”. That’s telling it like it is.
The Fed’s toolkit — which has been newly invented over the past 18 months — has three groups. They “all make use of the asset side of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet”. This means, they consist of creating more money out of thin air.
“The first set of tools, which are closely tied to the central bank’s traditional role as the lender of last resort, involve the provision of short-term liquidity”. It’s important to note that the reason the central bank is known as the “lender of last resort” is that when it collapses, the entire edifice falls and a new system must be built to replace the old.
In these cases, the political system often falls as well. Whether a free-market-oriented democracy or a socialist-oriented totalitarian system springs up to replace the former ruin depends on the people — both the average citizen and the elite.
The question is, what kind of new system will arise from the Federal Reserve ashes? Another Keynesian Ponzi-scheme or a solid hard-money-based Austrian-school bank? The reason, of course, that Austrians like gold is it can’t easily be counterfeited by the government. It’s quite a “barbaric metal”. In the people’s hands, it can’t easily be controlled by the bureaucrats. Darn.
It may just be possible, however, that Bernanke and colleagues can begin to move the Federal Reserve away from a fiat-based money system. You don’t really think there’s money in the banks to cover all your deposits, do you? And what do you mean by money, anyway: “legal tender IOU notes”?
Bernanke knows this all too well. And if he can get us through this Keynesian-induced hell with just one more dose of Keynesian money printing, then maybe he’ll have the time somewhere in the future to move the system back to a gold-standard dollar. Hmmm…
The tools in the first set are: 1) cutting fed funds and “discount window” interest rates, 2) increasing the length of the overnight “discount window” from 24 hours to 90 days, 3) the new “Term Auction Facility” which lends more money to the banks for “good” assets, 4) the new “Term Securities Lending Facility” which allows certain stock brokers to borrow money from the Fed for “less-liquid collateral”, and 5) the “Primary Dealer Credit Facility”, yet another bail-out loan facility for otherwise bankrupt stock brokers.
In addition to the above “short term” loan programs to US banks and stock brokers, the Fed has printed up more US dollars to convert into foreign currency using “bilateral currency swap agreements with 14 foreign central banks”. Why? Because the world has run out of dollars to spend in paying its bills! No problem, we’ll print up some more dollars for you too. Happy to oblige!
The second set of policy tools “involve the provision of liquidity directly to borrowers and investors in key credit markets”. They are: 1) money printed up to purchase commercial paper, 2) money printed up to purchase money-market funds, and 3) a Fed-Treasury joint money printing program to buy up AAA-rated student loans, auto loans, credit card loans, and SBA loans.
Finally, the third set of new “policy tools” includes creating more money to buy up longer-term securities including $600 billion in Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSE’s like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) and GSE-backed securities. The home mortgage market “dropped significantly on the announcement of this program”. The message: don’t bet against the Fed’s ability to print mountains of dollars — at least in the short term.
The result of all this newly-created money is that the Fed’s own balance sheet — which took 90 years to reach the first $800 billion — is now well on the way to $3 trillion, and that’s all money created out of thin air.
Consequently over the next 6 months, look for the Fed to bail out ever more failing financial institutions — starting with another multi-billion-dollar kick to the near-bankrupt Bank of America. This second round of funny money will be followed by a third and perhaps more, until we’ll all be swimming in a sea of dollar bills. As the recession bites deeper, the velocity of money — how fast we spend it — slows precipitously, and huge doses of more raw money are perceived by the money controllers as the only way to pull us out of this government-created mess.
What else can they do? The Austrian economist Murray Rothbard revealed the simple answer in his History of Money and Banking. Politicians everywhere need to read it immediately.
Professor Bernanke is a genuinely likeable person with a good sense of humor and a deep knowledge of how the financial world really works. He was warmly received by the LSE students and faculty in London.
Unfortunately, he is also the head of the biggest fiat-banking scheme ever devised by mankind. And he knows it. (Thank you John Pierpont Morgan for your Jekyll Island creation.)
The tell is that his voice waivers when he is saying something that he hopes will come true but is unsure of. Listen to his speeches yourself and you’ll hear what I mean immediately. It’s the giveaway of a basically honest and decent man. Bernanke still needs to fully master the “FedSpeak” of his predecessor, Alan Greenspan.
Alan could easily tell the House Banking Committee about how the Fed was fully in control – and there was nothing to worry about. And they believed it. Yet he was a protégé of Ayn Rand and the author of a marvellous essay on the need for gold-backed central banking in his youth. Years before he too became the head of the Fed.
I truly hope that Chairman Bernanke can pull it all off just one more time. Like a junky hooked on ever-increasing doses of the good stuff, I need just a little more money, please. The withdrawal is too painful and I don’t want to hurt that much. I promise to go straight and reform in the future. Trust me. In fact, trust all of us. We’re all in this together.
Related Previous Posts:
“Bernanke’s Ph.D. thesis” (PDF), 1975
Politico: Contentious hearing for Bernanke?
Hot Air: Obamateurism of the Day
CNBC Video: London – Bernanke Takes Questions
The Economist: The very model of a modern central banker
NYT Krugman: On the reappointment of Ben Bernanke