01/29/2010, 00.00
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Ben Bernanke gets second term at Fed, but also many opponents

Top central banker gets 70 votes against 30, an unprecedented no-confidence vote in US history. Obama is gratified by the decision but many senators accuse the chairman of putting Wall Street before Main Street.
Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Ben Bernanke won confirmation yesterday to a second term as chairman of the US Federal Reserve, despite sharp attacks on his role before the 2008 financial meltdown and in its aftermath.

After a bitter debate, the US Senate voted 70-30 to approve Bernanke, the strongest show of opposition in any confirmation hearing for the top US central banker.

President Barack Obama said he was “gratified” by the vote, adding that Bernanke was needed because “while the worst of the storm has passed, its devastation remains and we have a lot of work to do to rebuild our economy.”

However, some senators, like Bernie Sanders, charged that Bernanke had crafted disastrous economic policies under George W. Bush, missed the signs of the coming crisis, and then placed the needs of Wall Street above Main Street, living Americans saddled with a debt that will take decades to pay off.

Over the course of the debate, some of Bernanke's foes poked fun at Time magazine's decision to anoint him its last year “Person of the Year,” noting that past winners included Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

On Bernanke and the US economy vis-à-vis Asia and the world, AsiaNews published an in-depth analysis (see Maurizio d’Orlando, “As the world waits for hyperinflation and a world government, Bernanke becomes ‘Person of the Year’,” 12 December 2009).

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