Bernanke, Ben Shalom

Bernanke, Ben Shalom

(bĕrnăngk`ē), 1953–, U.S. economist and government official, b. Augusta, Ga.; grad. Harvard (B.A., 1975), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1979). He was a professor of economics at Stanford (1979–85) and Princeton (1985–2002) and an academic advisory panel member (1990–2002) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before serving (2003–5) as a member of the Federal Reserve's board of governors. An authority on monetary policy and the Great DepressionGreat Depression,
in U.S. history, the severe economic crisis generally considered to have been precipitated by the U.S. stock-market crash of 1929. Although it shared the basic characteristics of other such crises (see depression), the Great Depression was unprecedented in its
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 and in general a supporter of Alan GreenspanGreenspan, Alan,
1926–, American economist, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (1987–2006), b. New York City. Influenced by the philosophy of Ayn Rand, Greenspan is a strong supporter of the free market and an opponent of government intervention in the economy.
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's Federal Reserve policies, he became (2005) chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. In 2006 Bernanke succeeded Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Regarded as favoring consistency and transparency in central banking, he also came to be seen as innovative and flexible in his approach to U.S. and world financial problems and the recession resulting from the mortgage and credit crises that began in 2007. At the same time, however, he failed to anticipate the collapse of the housing and credit bubbles that led to the global financial crisis. Under Bernanke the Federal Reserve greatly expanded its lending to financial institutions (and enormously broadened the range of such institutions it lends to) in order to preserve liquidity in the international financial system and facilitate lending by financial institutions and generally moved aggressively to support the financial system and revive the economy. He was reappointed as chairman by President Obama in 2010 and served until 2014, when Janet YellenYellen, Janet Louise
, 1946–, U.S. economist and government official, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., B.A. Brown (1967), Ph.D. Yale (1971). Yellen taught economics (1971–76) at Harvard and subsequently has been an economist (1977–78) with the Federal Reserve's board of
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 succeeded him. Bernanke then became a fellow at the Brookings Institution and an adviser to investment firms.

Bibliography

See his The Courage to Act (2015) and Firefighting (2019, with T. GeithnerGeithner, Timothy Franz
, 1961–, U.S. government official, b. New York City, grad. Dartmouth (B.A. 1983), Johns Hopkins (M.A. 1985). In 1988 he began working at the Treasury Dept.
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 and H. PaulsonPaulson, Henry Merritt, Jr.,
1946–, U.S. investment banker and government official, b. Palm Beach, Fla., grad. Harvard (M.B.A., 1970). After working as an assistant to the comptroller at the Pentagon (1970–72) and in the White House (1972–73), he joined (1974)
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), both of which discuss aspects of the global financial crisis. See also study by D. Wessel (2009).

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