The Appointment of Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman
October 24, 2005
Good afternoon. One of a President's most important
appointments is Chairman of the Federal Reserve. In our economy, the Fed
is the independent body responsible for setting monetary policy, for
overseeing the integrity of our banking system, for containing the risk
that can arise in financial markets, and for ensuring a functioning payment
system. Across the world, the Fed is the symbol of the integrity and the
reliability of our financial system, and the decisions of the Fed affects
the lives and livelihoods of all Americans.
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
Over the course of a career marked by great accomplishment, Ben has done
path-breaking work in the field of monetary policy, taught advanced
economics at some of our top universities, and served with distinction on
the Fed's Board of Governors. He's earned a reputation for intellectual
rigor and integrity. He commands deep respect in the global financial
community. And he'll be an outstanding Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Ben will replace a legend, 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.
Through all these challenges, Chairman Greenspan's prudent judgment and
wise policies have kept inflation low. He's played a major role in
America's strong economic growth. He has dominated his age like no central
banker in history. He has contributed to a better life for all Americans.
And I thank him for his service.
Ben Bernanke is the right man to build on the record Alan Greenspan has
established. Ben graduated from Harvard with top honors, earned a
doctorate in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He's
built a record of excellence as both an academic and policymaker. He is
the author of several scholarly books and is one of the most cited
economists in the world. As Fed governor, Ben advocated greater
transparency in communication with the public and markets. His speeches
were widely admired for their keen insight and clear, simple language.
Ben's career has also been distinguished by leadership. He was chairman of
Princeton's Economics Department, founding director of Princeton's Bendheim
Center for Finance, and a founding editor of the International Journal of
Central Banking. Since June he has served as Chairman of the Council of
Ben is also a kind and decent man who is held in high regard by all those
who have worked with him. He has the support of a strong and loving
family. I'm pleased to see that Ben's wife, Anna, and his two children,
Alyssa and Joel, are with us today.
I want to thank Ben for his willingness to serve in a position so important
for world markets and so vital to the well being of the American people. I
urge the Senate to act promptly to confirm Ben Bernanke as the 14th
Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Ben, thanks for serving.
DR. BERNANKE: Thank you. I'd like to express my deep appreciation to
President Bush for the trust he has shown in me in asking me to lead the
Federal Reserve System. If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do
everything in my power, in collaboration with my Fed colleagues, to help to
ensure the continued prosperity and stability of the American economy.
In light of the announcement the President has just made, it's especially
gratifying to have Chairman Greenspan here. In more than 18 years at the
helm of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan has set the standard for
excellence in economic policymaking. I am personally grateful to Chairman
Greenspan for his collegiality and support during my time as a member of
the Fed's Board of Governors.
Our understanding of the best practice in monetary policy evolved during
Alan Greenspan's tenure at the Fed, and it will continue to evolve in the
future. However, if I am confirmed to this position, my first priority
will be to maintain continuity with the policies and policy strategies
established during the Greenspan years.
Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Anna, my daughter, Alyssa, and my
son, Joel, for their love and support. I could not contemplate undertaking
these new challenges without their help.
Thank you very much.
THE PRESIDENT: Congratulations, sir. Thank you, Ben.
DR. BERNANKE: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Chairman, thank you for being here. I appreciate you.
CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all.
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