Change the Fed, Keep Bernanke

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2009 6:52 AM CDT
Change the Fed, Keep Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Senate Banking Committee last month.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The Federal Reserve is ripe for some major changes everywhere but at the top, Steven Pearlstein writes for the Washington Post. It's finally clear that the job "involves a lot more than adjusting interest rates," and we've seen the drain that happened when we "left the previous chairman in the job so long that it created a cult of personality." To fix that, the possibility of reappointment should be removed for the Fed chairman—whose term should be extended to 6 years—to ensure independence from the White House and Wall Street.

To groom potential chairs, we should "give more power, influence and visibility to the other governors." The regulator itself needs to shed some of its day-to-day responsibilities to prevent power from becoming too concentrated in one place, Pearlstein writes, and to shape the new Fed, the Obama administration should keep Ben Bernanke in the job. Bernanke has made his share of missteps, Pearlstein writes, but his  "deep understanding of financial crises—as an academic and as crisis manager—makes him uniquely qualified to help Congress shape the new regulatory architecture and implement its reforms." (Read more Federal Reserve stories.)

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