In March, the collapse of Bear Stearns left the Fed open to tough questions about whether it was encouraging Wall Street's excesses by coming to the rescue, orchestrating the firesale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase.
Bernanke may find a more complimentary audience this year.
He has managed to defuse some of the criticism by finding creative ways besides lowering interest rates to ease credit constraints.
The Fed has launched a series of lending facilities that have helped to bolster confidence in debt-laden financial firms—and added a half-dozen new acronyms to the Wall Street lexicon.
The past month has brought some much-needed relief on the inflation front as oil prices came down from a July peak above $147 per barrel to trade below $115.
While that is still well above where it was a year ago, and inflation remains above the Fed's comfort level, it certainly takes some pressure off Bernanke to raise short-term interest rates.
The downtrodden U.S. dollar has also made a solid comeback in recent weeks, quieting speculation about currency market intervention.
Goldman Sachs economists declared Thursday that the dollar had bottomed, in part because of weakening economic trends in Europe and Japan that have made the U.S. currency look more attractive by comparison.
"The dollar lows are almost certainly behind us," currency strategist Thomas Stolper wrote in a note to clients.
"Too many underlying factors have started to work in favor of the dollar to dismiss the recent bounce as temporary." While cooling inflation is certainly a welcome development, Bernanke is in no position to tout a healthy economy.
Credit conditions continue to tighten, as evidenced by the Fed's own survey of loan officers, released last week.
"The bullish combination we are looking for would be for falling inflation to intersect with improving credit conditions. We are not there yet," said Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners.