What’s the Latest Development?
As Benjamin Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, prepares to resign his post, a quick look back at his accomplishments suggests he may hold more historical relevance than his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, around which a cult of personality swirled for years. When the financial crisis first struck, Bernanke “said the Fed had to operate fundamentally differently to get through this.” That meant tasking his staff with creating a new brand of monetary policy. This after a generation of textbook behavior which Bernanke thought was ill-suited to face, in his words, “the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression.”
What’s the Big Idea?
In Bernanke’s office hangs a photograph of the Federal Reserve staff who so haplessly responded to the Great Depression that an entire generation of Americans suffered the pangs of poverty. After the financial crisis struck, his sole mission was to not repeat history. As a result, job creation became a central goal of the Fed’s substantial power to create financial products and enact monetary policy. As a means of enacting his new policy, Bernanke has pioneered new methods of delivering the Fed’s cash infusions to the economy, such as holding regularly scheduled news conferences and declaring inflation targets for the years ahead.
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