WASHINGTON-President George W. Bush recently announced his choice of Ben Bernanke to be the next Federal Reserve Board chairman. Bernanke had been serving on the Fed Board until being sworn in as chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors in June. He served at the Fed for about two years. The president said in making the announcement, “To lead this institution, a Chairman must be a person of impeccable credentials, sound policy judgment, and character. Today I’m honored to announce that I’m nominating Ben Bernanke to be the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve.” Current Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s term ends January 31, 2006. He has served on the board since 1987. Normally, board terms are 14 years, but he finished out a previously incomplete term. “Ben will replace a legend,” President Bush said. “Alan Greenspan, who will retire when his current term runs out at the end of January. For nearly two decades, Chairman Greenspan has shepherded our economy through its highs and its lows. Under a steady chairmanship, the United States economy has come through a stock market crash, financial crises from Mexico to Asia, two recessions, corporate scandals, and shocks ranging from devastating national disasters to a terrorist attack in the heart of America’s financial center.” NAFCU Chief Economist Tun Wai said he was “very excited” to hear the nomination. “We have met with Ben Bernanke a couple of times,” he said. He said he expects Bernanke to continue a lot of the Fed’s policies. “The Federal Reserve has been known as an inflation hawk and I think it will continue to be an inflation hawk,” Wai said. Bill Hampel, CUNA’s chief economist, likewise applauded the president’s “really wise choice.” He called Bernanke a “star” among macroeconomic academia. Hampel explained that, as an academic, Bernanke has a theory on monetary policy targeting inflation, but feels that in a practical setting, Bernanke will not actually put it into practice at the Fed.

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