Time for a New Coach

The Senate banking committee on Thursday took up the nomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for a second term. On the eve of the confirmation hearing, Senator Bernie Sanders placed a hold on the nomination, a Senate procedure that allows any senator to block a nominee. “When you have a football coach who keeps losing games, you have to bring in someone new,” Sanders said.  Bernanke has a long history of misreading the economy and placing the interest of Wall Street above the interests of the middle class and working people.  Back in 2006, when he headed President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors, Bernanke declared that “the U.S. economy continues to be well positioned for long-term growth." By 2008, months before the government-chartered home mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac  imploded, Bernanke said they were “adequately capitalized” and “in no danger of failing.” That summer, as he surveyed a deregulated Wall Street’s risky practices that were rife with reckless speculation, the chairman blithely assured that the markets were fine.  “I don’t think the system is broken.”   It was. It is. Said Sanders: “The American people want a new direction on Wall Street and at the Fed.  They do not want as chairman someone who has been part of the problem and who has been responsible for many of the enormous difficulties that we are now experiencing.  It’s time for a change at the Fed.”

To read more of Bernanke’s own words, click here.

To read the senator’s statement, click here.

To read the Wall Street Journal editorial, click here.

To watch the senator on MSNBC discussing the hold, click here.