SEWELL CHAN and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
The Obama administration struggled on Friday to secure confirmation of Ben S. Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve, underscoring the political upheaval as both parties tried to find their footing amid a powerful wave of populism.
Two Democratic senators who are up for re-election this year announced that they would oppose Mr. Bernanke, whose four-year term as head of the central bank expires at the end of this month. Their decisions reflected a surge of opposition among some Democrats and Republicans to Mr. Bernanke, a primary architect of the bailout of the financial system and a contributor to policies that critics contend put the economy at risk in the first place.
With no vote scheduled and Capitol Hill abuzz with the possibility that more senators would use the nomination to show voters they understood the anger about bailouts and economic hardship, the uncertainty about Mr. Bernanke’s fate spread to Wall Street.
It contributed to another day of losses for investors at the end of a three-day slide that drove the markets down almost 5 percent. The Dow ended the week at its lowest close since early November.
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This article was posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 7:27 am