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Bernanke Meets The Dems: Point, Counterpoint

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will address a changed U.S. Congress tomorrow. Should President Bush’s man in the Fed alter his modus operandi in tune with a Democratic-controlled legislature?

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, says the answer is yes. Weisbrot opined alarmingly that the U.S. housing market was a huge housing bubble and that it has just begun to burst.

Cato Institute Chairman William Niskanen contradicted Weisbrot, telling “Morning Call” that the Fed chief “would be wise to avoid issues” not under the Fed’s “direct control.” – and stick to monetary policy. Despite widespread admiration for Bernanke’s predecessor Alan Greenspan – he received an 'honorary' knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 – Niskanen says the previous Fed leader “was too quick to comment” on matters beyond his jurisdiction, e.g., oil prices and fiscal policy.