The next time you hear the phrase No good deed goes unpunished, consider the plight of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who has been nominated for a second, four-year term by President Barack Obama.
As the nation's chief central banker, Mr. Bernanke deserves credit for moving quickly and energetically after the crash of the housing market to stop the U.S. economy from hitting rock bottom. An expert on the Great Depression, he knew that excessive caution and timid half-steps don't work, so he pushed huge bailouts and other robust economic measures designed to pump money into the economy.
His efforts breathed life into cratering lending institutions and ensured that credit and jobs would not vanish altogether. His calm demeanor and public comments offered a reassuring presence and gave Americans and governments around the world confidence that the crisis was being properly managed. In large measure, he succeeded in stopping the fall.
Yet when he appeared at his reconfirmation hearing last week he was treated by a few senators like the devil incarnate, berated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who railed against "the greed and recklessness of Wall Street." He's angry at Mr. Bernanke for the Fed's failure to "intervene at the appropriate time to stop the casino-type activities of large financial companies."
This phony and misplaced populism is wrongly aimed at the current Fed chairman.
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