Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bernanke Is Profusely Sweating

WSJ reports:

The U.S. Senate is "unlikely" to hold a confirmation vote on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's second term at the helm of the central bank, a senior Democratic leadership aide said Thursday.

Earlier this week, leadership aides said it was possible lawmakers would seek to vote on Bernanke's confirmation on Friday, but that now seems doubtful, the aide said.

The Fed chief's four year-term ends on Jan. 31. It is unclear what would happen if the Senate fails to approves him for a second term before then.

Bernanke is widely expected to be confirmed once a vote is held, but there are a handful of lawmakers preventing the Senate from moving directly to a vote. One of those, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent who generally votes with the Democratic majority, is pressing for President Barack Obama to withdraw Bernanke's nomination and select another candidate to lead the Fed.
You have to couple this delay with the fact that Paul Volcker seems to be gaining in influence at the White House.

The proposals to ban prop trading by the big banks, that President Obama proposed today, have Volcker's fingerprints all over them. Further, Volcker was also in the Oval Office today, meeting with the President, Vice-President Biden and Treasury Secretary Geithner. That's as a high a level of a meeting as you can get. It is a big indication that Obama, in desperation, is paying attention to Volcker.

Don't forget, Bernanke hasn't, that it was reported some time ago that Volcker remarked that Bernanke would be a one term Fed chairman.

Yup, Bernanke is sweating, profusely.

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