Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A New Sheriff in Town

Is it possible?

Could it be?

Did President George ‘Cronies-R-Us’ Bush actually name someone to a Federal post that…gasp…. actually has the qualifications to fill the post???

Nah…couldn’t be…

…could it?

It seems as though he did just that. (It’s amazing what incredibly low approval ratings can do to a president’s thought-process, isn’t it?) I mean think about it, this is a president that has, in his past appointments, habitually favored political cronyism, loyalty, and personal relationships over qualifications and integrity (and let’s be honest – in Brownie’s case; intelligence. ‘FEMA had no idea what was happening in Louisiana’ my ass)

Not only is it (apparently) Bush’s first non-crony choice, it’s also being called the “least controversial appointment” of his (staggeringly) convoluted presidency (Which, after the Harriet Miers debacle is probably the exact thing the President wanted… nay… NEEDED)

Tell us Kemp, are you ever going to get around to telling us whom Bush selected?

Certainly, in fact, I’ll do that now.

Bush has named Ben Bernanke as his nomination to replace the celebrated (and legendary?) Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (Wow, talk about a hard act to follow). Bernanke’s latest responsibility has been as a top White House economic adviser. More of his background can be seen below.

Granted, Ben Bernanke is a Republican and has succeeded in keeping himself out of the president's doghouse (I would assume by keeping his mouth shut and not rocking the boat – ya hear that Cheney?)

The thing I am excited about is that Bernanke's decades of academic writings and his speeches during the three years he spent as a member of the Federal Reserve Board show that he will be the type of chairman that identifies much more closely with the institution he runs rather than with the administration that appointed him (much like Greenspan did –all of which will mean a Federal Reserve that will continue its current stance of keeping inflation in check as its number one priority)

That having been said, there are still many ‘X’ factors to keep in consideration when looking at his selection and (I am sure soon-to-be) senate confirmation.

Alan Greenspan kept a fairly high profile during his successive terms as Chairman, will Bernanke be like this, or will he be more ‘low-key’? Also, will Bemanke be as … adroit (I have my thesaurus next to me) as Greenspan was at being able to persuade others to support his views on interest-rates and other economic factors? And will he be able to forestall market crises as proficiently as Greenspan did?

Only time will tell.

Meanwhile though, it seems painfully clear that credibility and experience have (finally) won out over cronyism and politics in the Bush administration.

Tomorrow: Factors that will threaten the U.S. economy under Bernanke’s watch

Profile on: Ben Bernanke
-Born December 13, 1953 in Augusta, Georgia
-Married with two children.
-Raised primarily in South Carolina
-Earned B.A. in economics at Harvard University in 1975. While there he won the award for best
undergraduate economics thesis and the prize for outstanding Economic Department senior
-Received his Ph.D. in economics in 1979 from MIT
-Started teaching at Stanford. Left there in 1985 and spent the next 20 years as a Professor of
Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton. He also has served as a visiting faculty member at other institutions, including MIT
-Joined the Federal Reserve in 2002 and then served as a governor of the Federal
- Currently is Chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers (which provides the president with analysis and advice on economic issues)

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