Bernanke is Time mag's person of the year -- what do you think?
This morning, as I mentioned earlier, Time magazine picked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as its person of the year.
You can read Time's story on Bernanke (written by former Post reporter Mike Grunwald) by clicking here.
Here's Time's rationale for picking Bernanke. Managing editor Richard Stengel writes: "What we don't know is what the economy and our lives would look like if a few individuals had not acted on our behalf and had simply sat on their hands. We don't know what didn't happen, but I'm convinced that the economy would look much, much worse."
Bernanke may be the ultimate Rashomon figure of this great crisis and recession: How you see him depends on where you stand.
For some, he's the savior of the economy for saving failing banks, for opening up the money spigot, for pushing interest rates low.
For others, he's the ultimate villain for the same reasons: Free-marketers believe failure should be an option in a market economy, monetarists fear Bernanke's rush to liquidity (which earned him the name "Helicopter Ben," as in, dropping dollars from a helicopter) has critically devalued the dollar and will lead to inflation, and others believe he is keeping rates too low too long, practically begging us to form another bubble.
What do you think? Is Bernanke the most influential person of the year, good or bad, and thus deserving of Time's award? Is he the most influential for the good he has done or the damage he has wrought?
(BREAKING: We know what Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) thinks about Bernanke: Merkley said moments ago he will vote against Bernanke's confirmation for a second term at the helm of the Fed on Dec. 17.)
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
-- Frank Ahrens
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December 16, 2009; 12:33 PM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Ben Bernanke, Jeff Merkley, Time, person of the year
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