Ben Bernanke As Time’s “Person Of The Year”

Ben BernankeIs Time Magazine really so out of touch with the hatred and revulsion many Americans feel for Ben Bernanke and his Wall Street cronies? Apparently so, as reported in the Atlantic:

It’s always fun to see who Time magazine names its “Person of the Year.” 2009’s pick was neither obvious nor shocking: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. I have a few thoughts about the pick.

My first observation is that Bernanke wasn’t really the most important figure for just 2009. Don’t get me wrong: I think he’s had a huge impact in the U.S. and global economies this year. I just think he’d be more aptly described as the “Person of the Last 18 to 24 Months.” Much of the most important work he did to stabilize the economy was done in 2008, not 2009. This year he had more of a stay-the-course philosophy.

Clearly, there are those who probably aren’t pleased with Time’s pick. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) comes to mind. He leads a charge in Congress to abolish the Fed, which is related to a portion of legislation to audit the Fed, recently passed as a part of the House’s financial reform bill. Other critics would like for him to have done more to curb unemployment. From a public standpoint, Bernanke’s public approval rating is only 22%, according to what I heard on CNBC this morning.

Some believe that Bernanke was partially to blame for the crisis. When he took the reins from Alan Greenspan in 2006, he could have worked for greater monetary tightening at that time, or more regulatory requirements. I’d argue, however, that the runaway train had already gained too much momentum by then anyway…

[continues in the Atlantic]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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2 Comments on "Ben Bernanke As Time’s “Person Of The Year”"

  1. Word Eater | Dec 16, 2009 at 12:28 pm |

    Time's Person of the Year is supposed to be someone who had the biggest impact regardless of its being positive or negative in nature.

    They really wanted Osama Bin Laden on the cover for PotY 2001, but ultimately decided against it. (

    • Good point Word Eater, but if you look at the choices Time has made over the years most of them have actually been popular with the majority of Americans. The 2001 choice of Rudy Giuliani over Osama probably seemed like a good idea at the time, although many New Yorkers already knew that Rudy really wasn't the hero the media made him out to be post-9/11.

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