Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is getting another four years at the helm of the nation’s central bank, a move Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s going to “be positive” about, despite some apprehensions. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, says he can’t really rate Bernanke’s performance so far.
“We won’t know for a year if he’s done a good job so far because he shoveled money out of an airplane to save banks and the financial system, and he’s done that,” Grassley says, “but shoveling money out the airplane to solve problems can be very inflationary, in fact, in this case hyper-inflationary.”
He says Bernanke needs to start “mopping up some of the money that’s out there” in a timely manner, or the inflation crunch will be worse than it was in 1980-81. Still, Grassley says President Obama’s decision to retain Bernanke is likely a wise one. “I would suggest that right now when everybody’s nervous about the economy, that you don’t change horses in the middle of a stream,” Grassley says, “and consequently, it would be probably detrimental not to have him reappointed.”
He says it would be a bad idea to further aggravate the situation with the lack of consumer confidence during this time of recession. Bernanke’s nomination to a second four-year term is subject to Senate confirmation.