Tags: Bernanke | Fed | Political | Pressure

Bernanke Lauds Fed's Resistance to Political Pressure

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 02:38 PM

One day ahead of the central bank's policy meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke declared that a willingness to resist political encroachment has been a key strength of the central bank during its first century as the U.S. central bank.

“One value that strikes me as having been at least as important as any other has been the Federal Reserve’s willingness, during its finest hours, to stand up to political pressure and make tough but necessary decisions,” Bernanke said Monday in prepared remarks for an event in Washington celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Fed. He didn’t discuss the outlook for monetary policy or the near-term prospects for the U.S. economy.

Bernanke gave brief introductory and closing remarks at an event at the Fed commemorating the Federal Reserve Act, the legislation that created the central bank. The act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on Dec. 23, 1913.

The fight against inflation under Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker, two of Bernanke’s predecessors, was “critical for the nation’s longer-term prosperity, and it required perseverance in the face of heavy criticism,” he said.

Bernanke’s remarks provide a window into his view of his own legacy as chairman. His term as central bank chief expires January 31, and Janet Yellen, currently Fed vice chairman, is poised to succeed him pending a confirmation vote in the Senate that may take place this week.

Bernanke, 60, has led the Fed since 2006, steering the central bank through the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression.

“As an institution, the Federal Reserve must continue to be willing to make tough decisions, based on objective, empirical analysis and without regard to political pressure,” he said.

The Federal Open Market Committee will begin a two-day policy meeting Tuesday. Bernanke will hold a press conference at the meeting's end Wednesday.

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One day ahead of the central bank's policy meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke declared that a willingness to resist political encroachment has been a key strength of the central bank during its first century as the U.S. central bank.
Bernanke,Fed,Political,Pressure
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Monday, 16 Dec 2013 02:38 PM
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