Tags: Exclusive Interviews | moore | bernanke | fed | chairman | economy

Stephen Moore: Not Going to 'Rule Out' Bernanke Reappointment

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Monday, 16 Sep 2013 06:27 PM

Don't count out Ben Bernanke — yes, Ben Bernanke — as the next chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, according to Stephen Moore, a Wall Street Journal editorial board member and senior economics writer.

"I'm not going to rule out ... the idea that Ben Bernanke is reappointed," Moore told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"Remember, Bill Clinton reappointed Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman, even though he was a Republican."

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Bernanke originally took office as chairman in 2006 and was reappointed by President Barack Obama for a second term in 2010.

Lawrence Summers, considered the leading candidate to replace Bernanke, has withdrawn his name from consideration, the White House announced on Sunday, a decision approved by Moore.

"This guy has an ego that would, apparently, fit in the Empire State Building and he's got a God complex. I always thought he would have been a lousy choice. You don't want someone who thinks that he's a master of the universe and has no humility running the Federal Reserve," he said.

He's also not impressed with Janet Yellen, the Fed's vice-chair since 2010.

"She believes that the way you create growth is by printing more money. If it were as easy as that, then Mexico would be the richest country in the world," Moore said.

Moore is not impressed with the slow recovery the nation has made from the economic collapse in 2008.

"We are in the fifth year of recovery. It's been a kind of nonrecovery recovery. We've had job creation that's about half the pace of what we normally get during a recovery and about a third of the pace of what we got under [President Ronald] Reagan," he said.

"We've seen economic growth rates that are less than half. We're growing at 1.5 to 2 percent; we should be growing at 4. Americans ... [have] lost $2,300, adjusted for inflation, since the recovery began ... What's amazing about this recovery is that ... people are still losing money."

But Moore is optimistic about a stronger recovery in the coming months.

"We may see a little bit of a faster recovery in the second half of this year. Let's keep our fingers crossed," he said.

"But so far this economy continues to disappoint and it disappoints for exactly the reasons — the opposite reasons — that Barack Obama has been citing ... oh, the stimulus worked so well and the auto bailouts and the bank bailouts and the mortgage modification programs ... the tax increase on the rich.

"I would make the case that those were all things that actually have made the economy really grow so slowly. In fact, we'd be growing much more quickly if we had not added the tax increase this year."

Moore called the federal stimulus plan "the biggest waste of money" in the history of Washington.

"That's $800 billion that we have to pay off and Lord knows if we ever will but it won't be me and you. It'll be our children and our grandchildren and their children that will pay it off," he said.

Moore said American businesses are the "most efficient companies in the world" today.

"They're not German, they're not French, they're not Japanese, they're not Chinese; they're American companies. So my attitude has always been if we can just get the government the hell out of the way ... the American economy and businesses would start to really flourish," he said.

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