Another Term for Ben Bernanke?

Senator Bernie Sanders raised questions on Tuesday about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke after the White House announced that the head of the central bank would be nominated for a second term. "As a result of the greed, irresponsibility and illegal behavior of Wall Street our country has experienced the worst economic decline since the Great Depression.  Mr. Bernanke was head of the Fed and the nation's chief economist as this crisis, driven by reckless speculation, developed.  Tragically, like the rest of the Bush administration, he was asleep at the wheel during this period and did nothing to move our financial system onto safer grounds. As the middle class of this country continues to shrink, we need a chairman of the Federal Reserve who is more concerned about expanding the productive economy – increasing decent-paying jobs for all Americans – than continuing to fan the flames of Wall Street greed and outrageous compensation packages.”

Sanders was among nearly a dozen Democratic and Republican senators who recently ramped up pressure on the Federal Reserve to release details of all the central bank's steps to shore up the economy. The senators sent a letter to Bernanke urging him to release a full list of Wall Street firms that have received secret loans worth more than $2 trillion.

In a related development, a federal judge ruled against the central bank yesterday, rejecting its argument that loan records aren’t covered by the Freedom of Information Act because their disclosure would harm borrowers’ competitive positions.  The Fed has refused to name the financial firms, claiming that doing so might set off a run by depositors and unsettle shareholders.

To read the July 31 letter, click here.

To read more about Sanders’ concerns with the way the Fed has operated, click here.   

To read the Bloomberg article on the court decision, click here.