Bernanke to Be a Two-Termer?

Not having heard about this previously, it came as something of a surprise to learn in Jon Hilsenrath’s Fedwire report($) today that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is not likely to serve a second term as head of the central bank even if he’s asked to do so, a question that is clearly dependent upon whether Barrack Obama or Mitt Romney occupy the White House when his current term expires in January of 2014.

The landscape for the Fed is complicated by the presidential election. Mindful of his own legacy and the Fed’s independence, Chairman Ben Bernanke seems unlikely to allow the political calendar to sway his decisions. He appears especially immune from politics now, with just 18 months left in his term as chairman and little indication that he wants another. Still, some investors speculate the Fed has an incentive to decide quickly to avoid shifting policies close to the November vote.

Of course, it’s easy to forget that all Fed chairman are not attention craving megalomaniacs like Bernanke’s predecessor Alan Greenspan who, according to Matt Taibbi in Griftopia, rose to power and then made this contribution to the world during his 18-year term at the helm.

Greenspan’s rise is … a tale of a gerbilish mirror-gazer who flattered and bullshitted his way up the Matterhorn of American power and then, once he got to the top, feverishly jacked himself off to the attentions of Wall Street for twenty consecutive years – in the process laying the intellectual foundation for a generation of orgiastic greed and overconsumption and turning the Federal Reserve into a a permanent bailout mechanism for the super-rich.

Somehow, I never tire of hearing that characterization of ‘Ol Greenie.

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