Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business

World

Obama confident for Bernanke

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 – Embattled Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will garner enough votes to win US Senate confirmation for a second term despite opposition from key Democrats, President Barack Obama\’s top adviser predicted Sunday.

"The president is very confident that the chairman will be confirmed," said adviser David Axelrod, who praised Bernanke\’s handling of the recent global economic meltdown.

"Chairman Bernanke offered very strong and steady leadership during this crisis, without which we… may have slipped into the abyss. And we are still in a fragile state, although the economy is growing," Axelrod told CNN\’s "State of the Union" television program.

Several US senators have vowed to filibuster the nomination which needs 60 votes for approval. Most of the Senate\’s 40 Republicans are expected to vote against Bernanke, making it all the more important for Bernanke to sew up the support of Democrats.

But last week, two senior Senate Democrats, Barbara Boxer and Russell Feingold, announced that they would vote against Bernanke after his first term ends on January 31, criticizing him for being too closely allied with Wall Street.

Senators, particularly those facing re-election this year, also are concerned about voter anger about the role of the Fed in failing to prevent the deep recession and then in helping to engineer the bailouts of large financial companies.

The growing tide against Bernanke has imperiled the Fed chairman, but a top White House aide on Sunday voiced praise of Bernanke\’s stewardship of US monetary policy and said he needs another term as the country\’s banker to ensure that a nascent economic recovery continues on track.

"There is a great deal of concern relative to the financial sector. And understand that we need his leadership," Axelrod said.

President Barack Obama\’s administration has been scrambling to save his beleaguered Fed nominee — first installed by Obama\’s predecessor George W. Bush in February 2006 — in the face of opposition from members of his own Democratic party.

Senator John McCain, Obama\’s Republican rival in the 2008 presidential race, said he was "leaning against" supporting Bernanke, claiming that "his policies were partially responsible for the meltdown that we experienced."

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

"Chairman Bernanke was in charge when we hit the iceberg," McCain told CBS program "Face the Nation."

Another top Republican, Senator John Cornyn, said he was certain he would not vote to approve another term for the Fed chair.

"I think Ben Bernanke is a brilliant and an honorable man, but one who has presided over what is a crisis of confidence of the American people due to a lack of transparency and accountability with regard to the bailouts and other activities by the Federal Reserve," he told the Fox News Sunday program.

"So, regretfully, I will vote \’no\’ on his confirmation — I think they need a fresh start," the Texas Republican said.

Democrat Boxer — on the other end of the political spectrum from the pro-business, conservative McCain and Cornyn — said on Friday that she too objects to Bernanke\’s return, but for quite different reasons.

"It is time for Main Street to have a champion at the Fed…. Our next Federal Reserve chairman must represent a clean break from the failed policies of the past."

Ramped up Democratic opposition to a second term for Bernanke underscores a major populist shift in the political landscape since Republicans won a stunning upset last week in the Massachusetts election for a US Senate seat, ending the 60-seat Democratic supermajority in the chamber.

But analysts have warned that tossing out Bernanke could trigger renewed turmoil in financial markets, after speculation that his nomination could be rejected contributed to a sharp stock market drop last week.

Time magazine named Bernanke its 2009 "Person of the Year" in December, crediting him with helping guide the United States through financial turmoil.
 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...