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Ben Bernanke: Big in Europe


Looks like the Europeans -- or at least the head of their Central Bank -- want us to reappoint Ben Bernanke:

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet offered qualified support for a U.S. plan to rein in the size and activities of large banks, though he stressed such proposals should be coordinated globally.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal at his office at ECB headquarters in downtown Frankfurt, Mr. Trichet also urged U.S. lawmakers to confirm Ben Bernanke for another term as Federal Reserve chairman, saying he holds Mr. Bernanke "in very great esteem," an unusual public backing from a central banker who zealously guards his independence from politics.

More here. Trichet may get his wish. It looks like Bernanke has more than 50 votes, and the talk, for now, is that some of the senators who vote against him will nevertheless oppose a filibuster.

Photo credit: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters.

By Ezra Klein  |  January 27, 2010; 2:02 PM ET
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Next: The little commission that couldn't, cont'd.


Bernanke's beard seems fuller in Europe too

Posted by: bdballard | January 27, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I am going to continue be a bad a** here...

Politics in USA is always ahead of many folks in rest of the world. When Nixon was forced to resign, or when LBJ decided not to run or when Bush Sr. was defeated (and as when Bush Jr. was re-elected); folks in rest of the world could not fully grasp reasoning and public reactions behind that.

There is an element of country specific context. Certain institutions play peculiar role in those countries.

So I think why Europeans, so many in America are also getting lax in applying the 'accountability' criteria for Bernanke. It is not some of kind 'leftist fad' just because Huffington Post is following it. I am also not arguing about any 'policy wonk' argument like Bernanke will not use Fed to address unemployment (Krugman, Yeglesias, Gagnon line) or he is not sufficiently hawk (as how Sen. Grassley is doing now to oppose Bernanke).

It is a classic Ron Paul argument - Fed's accountability to American People and Bernanke represents the current status quo of 'hiding things' behind which needs to be broken. AIG case is classic. Add to that Bernanke's argument of not owning any responsibility of failure to detect 'housing bubble' or to control it. In addition he is fully into the mode of 'turf war' hindering our attempts to remap financial institutions.

That is the 'accountability' standard which must be applied in this case. As Iowa Sen. said (and Krugman nodded too) 'but how market will react' is the precise line of thinking this country needs to over come.

Nirvana for America is when we stop worrying Wall Street and Capital Market (despite as like everyone else I am dependent on stocks for retirement and kids education).

Obama and establishment Dems are failing to realize this and failing to exploit this moment.

Then what with Europeans. They are way behind.

Posted by: umesh409 | January 27, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

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