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Bernanke Says Limiting Fed Independence Would ‘Impair’ Economy

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Craig Torres
Bloomberg
Saturday, Nov 28th, 2009

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said removing the central bank from bank supervision and tampering with its political independence would “seriously impair” economic stability in the U.S.

“A number of the legislative proposals being circulated would significantly reduce the capacity of the Federal Reserve to perform its core functions,” the Fed Chairman said in a commentary released yesterday on the Web site of the Washington Post. The measures “would seriously impair the prospects for economic and financial stability in the U.S..”

Bernanke has presided over the most expansive use of Fed powers since the Great Depression. While the 55-year-old Fed chairman has said he averted a financial meltdown, lawmakers have voiced concern about taxpayer-sponsored bailouts and proposed the most sweeping dismantlement of Fed authority since the creation of the institution in 1913.

Bernanke’s commentary is his first comprehensive answer to proposals in the House and Senate that would limit the Fed’s supervisory powers and exert more political oversight in the setting of interest rates. The issues are likely to be discussed when he faces the Senate Banking Committee on Dec. 3 for a hearing on his nomination to a second term as chairman.

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This article was posted: Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 1:55 am





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