1. Bush Nominates Bernanke to Succeed Greenspan as Fed Chief # 1

    Bush Nominates Bernanke to Succeed Greenspan as Fed Chief

    Bush Nominates Bernanke to Succeed Greenspan as Fed Chief

    Published: October 24, 2005
    WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 - President Bush nominated Ben S. Bernanke, his top economic adviser, to replace Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

    Calling him the "right man to build on the record that Alan Greenspan has built," Mr. Bush said Mr. Bernanke has "built a record of excellence as both economist and policy maker." He spoke at the White House flanked by Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Greenspan, who did not speak..

    Doug Mills/ The New York Times
    "If I am confirmed to this position, my first priority will be to maintain consistency and continuity with the policies established during the Greenspan years," Ben S. Bernanke said today.

    Profile: Ben Bernanke

    AGE-BIRTH DATE -- 51; Dec. 13, 1953, in Augusta, Ga.

    EDUCATION -- B.A. in economics, 1975, Harvard University; Ph.D. in economics, 1979, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    EXPERIENCE -- June 2005-present, chairman, President's Council of Economic Advisers; 2002-2005, member, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; 1996-2002, professor and chairman of the Economics Department at Princeton University; 1985-2002, economics professor, Princeton University.

    FAMILY -- Wife Anna; two children.

    "My first priority will be to maintain continuing with the policy and policy strategies under the Greenspan era," Ben S. Bernanke said today.
    In brief remarks Mr. Bernanke, 51, sought to reassure investors that there would be few immediate changes at the Fed when he takes over early next year. He praised Mr. Greenspan and said he would work with colleagues at the Federal Reserve to "ensure the prosperity of the American economy."

    "If I am confirmed to this position, my first priority will be to maintain consistency and continuity with the policies established during the Greenspan years," Mr. Bernanke said.

    A former Federal Reserve governor, Mr. Bernanke has long been considered the favorite for the post, according to political experts, Wall Street analysts and economists. Mr. Bush appointed Mr. Bernanke, a Republican and former professor at Princeton University, to head the White House Council of Economic Advisors earlier this year.

    Other candidates considered to have been on the short list were R. Glenn Hubbard, a former top adviser to Mr. Bush and an architect of the president's tax cuts, and Martin S. Feldstein, a Harvard University economics professor and president of the National Bureau of Economics Research.

    Mr. Greenspan is expected to step down Jan. 31 and will be the second-longest serving chairman of the Fed. He is widely credited for helping foster the 1990's economic boom and blamed by some for not doing enough to reign in the financial excesses of the decade.

    The stock market was up after the announcement: the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index was up 14.47 points, to 1,194.06; the Dow Jones industrial average was up 117.51 points, to 10,332.73.. United States treasuries fell and the yield on the 10-year note, which moves in the opposite direction of the price, was up to 4.434 percent from 4.386 percent on Friday.

    Earlier this month, Mr. Bush said he would like to nominate someone independent from politics but he has also made clear that he would like to have a personal rapport with the candidate. Given the Fed's critical role in guiding the economy, the candidate would also have to reassure Wall Street.

    Mr. Bernanke (pronounced ber-NANK-ee) is a respected economist who has assiduously stayed away from partisan politics until his appointment to the White House post, friends and colleagues say. He studied economic history at Harvard and then earned a doctorate in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    He is widely respected by liberals and conservatives. Brad DeLong, an economist at the University of California who is a frequent critic of the Bush administration, called Mr. Bernanke "a very good choice" on his Web site today.

    Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said: "We need a careful, non-ideological person who understands that the Federal Reserve's main job is to fight inflation and Ben Bernanke seems to fit that bill. But an important question remains and will hopefully be answered at his confirmation hearing - will Bernanke adopt the Greenspan model of flexibility in monetary policy that has served our economy so well?"

    Mr. Greenspan will leave Mr. Bernanke a growing economy that has, so far this year, withstood a sharp rise in energy prices and two devastating hurricanes. Since June 2004, the Fed has raised short-term interest rates 11 times to 3.75 percent and officials have recently signaled they will continue raising rates to head off any inflation spillover from high energy costs.

    The consumer price index jumped to an annual rate of 4.7 percent last month, with most of the gain attributable to higher energy costs. Excluding energy and food, the core inflation rate was 2 percent.

    "The departing chairman will have done much of the hard work of tightening before the appointment of the new chairman," Richard Hoey, chief economist and investment strategist of Dreyfus, the mutual fund company, wrote in a note to clients.

    The Federal Open Market Committee will have three more meetings before Mr. Greenspan is expected to leave, on Nov. 1, Dec. 13 and Jan. 31.

    Mr. Bernanke has been a vocal advocate of setting an explicit inflation target that can be used to both guide monetary policy and make it easier for investors to anticipate Fed policy. The Bank of England has used an inflation target - now at 2.5 percent - since 1992.

    But Mr. Greenspan has opposed the idea of an explicit inflation target on the grounds that it would reduce the Fed's flexibility and be hard to carry out in practice.

    Edmund L. Andrews reported from Washington for this article and Vikas Bajaj from New York.

  2. Bush Nominates Bernanke to Succeed Greenspan as Fed Chief # 2
    President Appoints Dr. Ben Bernanke for Chairman of the Federal Reserve
    The Oval Office

    1:00 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. One of a President's most important appointments is Chairman of the Federal Reserve. In our economy, the Fed is the independent body responsible for setting monetary policy, for overseeing the integrity of our banking system, for containing the risk that can arise in financial markets, and for ensuring a functioning payment system. Across the world, the Fed is the symbol of the integrity and the reliability of our financial system, and the decisions of the Fed affects the lives and livelihoods of all Americans.

    To lead this institution, a Chairman must be a person of impeccable credentials, sound policy judgment, and character. Today I'm honored to announce that I'm nominating Ben Bernanke to be the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    Over the course of a career marked by great accomplishment, Ben has done path-breaking work in the field of monetary policy, taught advanced economics at some of our top universities, and served with distinction on the Fed's Board of Governors. He's earned a reputation for intellectual rigor and integrity. He commands deep respect in the global financial community. And he'll be an outstanding Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    Ben will replace a legend, Alan Greenspan, who will retire when his current term runs out at the end of January. For nearly two decades, Chairman Greenspan has shepherded our economy through its highs and its lows. Under a steady chairmanship, the United States economy has come through a stock market crash, financial crises from Mexico to Asia, two recessions, corporate scandals, and shocks ranging from devastating national disasters to a terrorist attack in the heart of America's financial center.

    Through all these challenges, Chairman Greenspan's prudent judgment and wise policies have kept inflation low. He's played a major role in America's strong economic growth. He has dominated his age like no central banker in history. He has contributed to a better life for all Americans. And I thank him for his service.

    Ben Bernanke is the right man to build on the record Alan Greenspan has established. Ben graduated from Harvard with top honors, earned a doctorate in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He's built a record of excellence as both an academic and policymaker. He is the author of several scholarly books and is one of the most cited economists in the world. As Fed governor, Ben advocated greater transparency in communication with the public and markets. His speeches were widely admired for their keen insight and clear, simple language.

    Ben's career has also been distinguished by leadership. He was chairman of Princeton's Economics Department, founding director of Princeton's Bendheim Center for Finance, and a founding editor of the International Journal of Central Banking. Since June he has served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.

    Ben is also a kind and decent man who is held in high regard by all those who have worked with him. He has the support of a strong and loving family. I'm pleased to see that Ben's wife, Anna, and his two children, Alyssa and Joel, are with us today.

    I want to thank Ben for his willingness to serve in a position so important for world markets and so vital to the well being of the American people. I urge the Senate to act promptly to confirm Ben Bernanke as the 14th Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    Ben, thanks for serving.

    DR. BERNANKE: Thank you. I'd like to express my deep appreciation to President Bush for the trust he has shown in me in asking me to lead the Federal Reserve System. If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything in my power, in collaboration with my Fed colleagues, to help to ensure the continued prosperity and stability of the American economy.

    In light of the announcement the President has just made, it's especially gratifying to have Chairman Greenspan here. In more than 18 years at the helm of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan has set the standard for excellence in economic policymaking. I am personally grateful to Chairman Greenspan for his collegiality and support during my time as a member of the Fed's Board of Governors.

    Our understanding of the best practice in monetary policy evolved during Alan Greenspan's tenure at the Fed, and it will continue to evolve in the future. However, if I am confirmed to this position, my first priority will be to maintain continuity with the policies and policy strategies established during the Greenspan years.

    Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Anna, my daughter, Alyssa, and my son, Joel, for their love and support. I could not contemplate undertaking these new challenges without their help.

    Thank you very much.

    THE PRESIDENT: Congratulations, sir. Thank you, Ben.

    DR. BERNANKE: Thank you.

    THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Chairman, thank you for being here. I appreciate you.


    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. END 1:08 P.M. EDT



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