Thursday, January 28, 2010
The Washington Post and just about every other news outlet is reporting that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been confirmed for another four-year term as the head of the central bank.
Ben S. Bernanke won a second term as Federal Reserve chairman on Thursday, as 70 senators voted to confirm him for four more years as the nation's most powerful economic policymaker.The fact that he received almost double the highest previous number of 'No' votes should be a clear sign that there is something wrong somewhere. Look for a big day in the stock market tomorrow, especially financial stocks.
Bernanke's nomination had become uncertain in the past week, as liberals and conservatives alike expressed new reservations about confirming a man who has presided over the worst economic downturn in generations.
But ultimately, a bipartisan majority of the Senate concluded that Bernanke's aggressive actions to combat the crisis, which many argued prevented the recession from becoming a depression, made up for regulatory and other failures by Bernanke and the Fed that contributed to the crisis in the first place. He won confirmation by a wider margin than many Congress-watchers had expected.
Earlier in the afternoon, 77 senators voted to allow a vote to proceed, easily clearing the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster by opponents. But a number of those who voted to clear that procedural step ultimately voted against confirming Bernanke. In the final tally, he won confirmation by a 70 to 30 vote.