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Bernanke vows to keep Fed's independence

Updated:2010-02-04 17:24:30

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged to keep the central bank's independence during a ceremonial swearing-in for another four-year term on Wednesday.

"The Federal Reserve has been granted, both in law and in political tradition, considerable independence and autonomy. That independence serves important public objectives," Bernanke said in brief remarks to staffers.

"In the interest of maintaining public confidence and promoting economic and financial stability, we must continue to protect our independence," Bernanke said.

One of the Fed's challenges is protecting its independence from political meddling, he said.

Last week, the Senate confirmed Bernanke's second term service as the Fed chief at a vote of 70 to 30, which is a relatively low level of support in the history of Fed Chairman's reconfirmation vote.

Bernanke's confirmation battle has been a test of Fed independence. The anti-bailout anger that had eroded Bernanke's support in the Senate could have a lasting impact on the Fed's ability to manage the economy without regard to the political winds, economists and academics say.

On the economic front, Bernanke said that the resumption of growth in the economy is encouraging, but "far too many people remain unemployed, foreclosures continue at record rates and bank credit continues to contract."

The biggest challenge for Bernanke this year is deciding when and how to implement "exit strategy" of the anti-recession policies. The key measure will be when to start increase record- low interest rates to prevent inflation or a speculative asset bubble.

The Fed announced to keep rates at record lows near zero for an "extended period" to nurture the recovery last week. Some economists say that's at least six more months.

A scholar of the Great Depression, Bernanke, 56, has been widely credited for taking unconventional steps to prevent the Great Recession from turning into a second Great Depression.

Bernanke spent most of his professional career in academia, including 17 years teaching economics at Princeton University. He came to Washington to take a job at the Federal Reserve, working with Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Bernanke began his second term on February 1 following his confirmation by the Senate on January 28. President Obama announced his intention to nominate Bernanke on August 25 2009. He originally took office as Chairman on February 1, 2006.

 

 

Source:http://news.xinhuanet.com

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