President Obama stuck an unofficial fork in the Ben Bernanke era last night. In an interview with Charlie Rose the President said of the Fed chairman, "he's already stayed longer than he wanted or was supposed to." The President added that Bernanke has been an "outstanding partner along with the White House" in helping the US economy recover from the so-called Great Recession.
The President's choice of words was unusual but the notion of Bernanke stepping aside when his term ends early next year was not. Originally appointed by then President Bush in 2006, Bernanke was re-appointed by Obama in 2010.
In the attached clip my Breakout co-Host Matt Nesto agrees that only the words "supposed to" made Obama's comments a topic of discussion. Noting that the White House "immediately backpedaled" on the comments, explaining that the verbally meticulous President was simply speaking off-the cuff during his interview on PBS with Charlie Rose.
Much like Tim Geithner in the waning days of his term as Secretary of the Treasury, Bernanke shows all the signs of a guy who can't wait to get out of office and move on with his life. Much if not all of his second term has been spent devising different ways to stimulate the economy and castigating law makers for their inability to craft sustainable fiscal policy.
The presumptive replacement for Bernanke has long been Janet Yellen. Currently serving as the (deep breath) Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Yellen has supported Bernanke's policies and is famously dovish on the prospect of inflation.
As Nesto points out Obama is likely to start floating names of potential replacements at the end of the year. Bernanke's departure is an opportunity for the President to take something of a victory lap on avoiding a redux of the Great Depression, and push for a Fed Chair who will carry the Obama imprimatur for at least two years after the President himself is supposed to leave regardless of whether he wants to or not.
***Programming Note: Wednesday June 19th, be sure to catch our live multi-platform coverage of the Federal Reserve's biggest policy meeting this year, right here on Breakout!
2:30pm: Analysis begins with a live stream Fed chief Ben Bernanke's press conference, with live blogging from Yahoo! Finance's team of Jeff Macke, Matt Nesto, Aaron Task, Michael Santoli, Lauren Lyster, Rick Newman and more.
3:15pm: The show goes on-air live with full analysis of the FOMC statement, Bernanke presser, and all of the day's market action. Special guests include Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital, James Paulsen of Wells Capital Management, and Jeff Kilburg of KKM Financial.
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- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Ben Bernanke
- President Obama