Bush Nominates Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman


I'm Faith Lapidus with the VOA Special English Economics Report.

President Bush this week nominated economist Ben Bernanke [ber-NAN-key] to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The Senate is expected to confirm Mister Bernanke to replace Alan Greenspan. Mister Greenspan has held the position at the central bank for eighteen years. He is expected to leave at the end of January.

Mister Bernanke currently serves as chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers. President Bush appointed him in June. Mister Bernanke served as a governor of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank from August of two thousand two until this year.

But, Mister Bernanke has mainly been a university professor for much of his working life. He headed the Economics Department at Princeton University in New Jersey before he was confirmed as a Federal Reserve governor.

Mister Bernanke says he does not plan big changes for the central bank. He says his first job will be to continue what he called "the policies and policy strategies established during the Greenspan years."

However, Mister Bernanke has supported the idea of the Federal Reserve announcing a target rate for inflation. Some nations, mainly in Europe, already do this. Alan Greenspan started announcing target interest rates for money controlled by the central bank. But he has not supported the idea of stated targets for inflation.

Mister Greenspan is seventy-nine years old. He has won praise for his guidance of the world's largest economy. He became Federal Reserve chairman in August of nineteen eighty-seven. Two months later, the stock market faced the worst day in its history. The Dow Jones industrial average lost almost one-fourth of its value. Since then, Mister Greenspan has led the central bank through two recessions, but also a long period of economic expansion.

Mister Bernanke was born in Augusta, Georgia, and is fifty-one years old. He studied at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. If confirmed, Mister Bernanke will be the fourteenth chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. And, unlike the current one, the president noted that Mister Bernanke has been praised for giving speeches in "clear, simple language."

This VOA Special English Economics Report was written by Mario Ritter. Our reports are online at WWW.51VOA.COM. I'm Faith Lapidus.