As Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's term edges closer to its end and speculation over who will replace him grips markets, some industry watchers say the best option is for Bernanke not to leave at all.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Thursday that Bernanke should get the chance to finish what he started.
"If you have a '.400 hitter' in the line-up, you don't take him out," Buffett told CNBC in a joint television interview with Brian Moynihan, chief executive of Bank of America, which aired on Thursday.
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"He may want to leave, but I think… since the panic of five years ago… he's done a terrific job and I think he ought to get a chance to play out a little more of his hand," he added.
During Bernanke's two terms as Fed chairman he has embarked on one of the most aggressive quantitative easing programs the world has ever seen. Many industry watchers have applauded the American economist for his success in helping drag the U.S. economy out of its worst recession since the 1930s.
But despite his popularity, it had been widely accepted that he would leave at the end of his second term on January 31, with reports showing he has already stayed much longer than he wanted to.
However, this week, news that controversial candidate Larry Summers had withdrawn his name for consideration to be the next Fed chairperson has stirred up the debate again. Vice chair Janet Yellen is widely seen as the key contender, but some commentators say Summers' bowing out has prompted whispers that Bernanke might be in the running again after all.
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