“Fed was created to stabilize the financial system in times of panic, and we did that.”
-- Ben Bernanke, Retiring Fed Chairman
Neither Dana Milbank nor me have any chops to pass erudite public media opinions on Economics or Monetary Policy. That is left to Paul Krugman of New York Times or Martin Wolf of Financial Times. Nevertheless I fully agree with Milbank when he says Bernanke deserves more credit than what he has got so far.
Yah, I know Bernanke graced Time magazine cover. But seriously, do we still care about those Person of the Year awards from an extinct print magazine even though I like the current Pope and think he is going in the right direction? Many decades down the line when humanity would look back at our times, it would appreciate the innovation and integrity which Ben Bernanke brought to the monetary policy - never to bend for the prevailing flow of political winds in undertaking what is right and in keep experimenting until we find a solution for what needs to be solved here and now; the recession of 2008 in Bernanke's case. He successfully withstood monetary policy lunatics like Ron Paul and whiz bang kids like Paul Ryan (so what if Ryan got it 'right' with Sen. Pat Murrary in the budget deal? The adult in the room - Sen. Murray - is always expected to bring back a recalcitrant kid back on the line). That is such a colossal feat that quite possibly it dwarfs Obama Presidency so far.
May be that is where the true strength of American Republic lies - from different walks of life, different personalities rise to the occasion in varieties of institutions to serve American People well in difficult times. Seems like the tenure of Fed Chairman Bernanke is one such exemplary case. So thanks Prof. Bernanke, job well done.