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Did Obama Make the Right Choice in Re-nominating Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman?

The Kudlow Caucus
The Kudlow Caucus

We asked our panel:

Did Obama make the right choice in re-nominating Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman?

Yes: 9
No: 3










The Kudlow Caucus Breakdown

Joe Battipaglia
Joe Battipaglia

YES
Joe Battipaglia
Market Strategist, Stifel Nicolaus
He created this rather large and controversial systemic intervention so he'll have to be the one to unwind it. His tenure as Fed chairman will be judged accordingly.

Jerry Bowyer
Jerry Bowyer

NO
Jerry Bowyer Chief Economist, Benchmark Financial Network
Bernanke fears being the Fed Head who presided over Great Depression II, more than he fears presiding over Stagflation II. So he'll keep rates too low for too long. Low was good for a while, but not now.

Keith Boykin
Keith Boykin

YES
Keith Boykin Fmr. Clinton White House Aide / The Daily Voice Editor
Bernanke has been a key player in responding to the financial crisis and the recession. He has the confidence of the President and, as a Republican holdover appointee, will help steer a nonpartisan federal monetary policy.

Vince Farrell
Vince Farrell

YES
Vince Farrell Scotsman Capital Management
Not only does he deserve it based on performance, but any other choice could well have smacked of political manipulation of the Fed's independence.

Doug Kass
Doug Kass

YES
Doug Kass Presidnt, Seabreeze Partners Management
While Chairman Bernanke was a poor Federal Reserve Chairman in the pre crisis period (as he failed to identify the severity of our economic/debt problems and the interlinked financial system), he matured into a good Chairman in the post crisis period. Given the still fragile measures of business/consumer confidence, the fact that the Great Debt Unwind is only in the third or fourth inning and the still tenuous economic recovery - it was not time to rock the market and economic boat by bringing in a new Chairman.

Jim Lacamp
Jim Lacamp

YES
Jim LaCamp Portfolio Manager, Portfolio Focus, RBC Wealth Management
Co-Host, Opening Bell Radio Show, Biz Radio Network
Yes, because it would be too unsettling for the markets if he didn't. Bernanke has been creative and aggressive, while having to navigate questionable fiscal policy. He still rates an "I" though as it remains to be seen whether he'll remove stimulus in a timely manner.

Art Laffer
Art Laffer

YES
Art Laffer Fmr. Reagan Economic Advisor
Chief Investment Officer, Laffer Investments
Now we won’t mix responsibility and authority. No one can argue that Ben Bernanke doesn’t deserve all of the credit or all of the blame for whatever happens now.

Donald Luskin
Donald Luskin

Yes
Donald L. Luskin Chief Investment Officer, Trend Macrolytics LLC
The team of Bernanke and Geithner made every mistake in the book – but they both should stay on, because those mistakes mean that they – uniquely – have learned on the job, and are best equipped to get it right as we go forward. And the alternatives to Bernanke were unthinkable. Janet Yellen is stuck on dovish. And Larry Summers is simply a bull in a china shop whom, apparently, even Barack Obama didn’t trust with a tenured position at an independent agency. If for some reason Bernanke had not been available, my first choice would have been John Taylor..

Steve Moore
Steve Moore

NO
Steve Moore Sr. Economics Writer, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
I think Bernanke is not the man who saved us from depression. He’s the one who played a major role in creating the financial bubble in the first place with his monetary policy. That said, he might not have been a bad choice given the alternatives.

James Pethokoukis
James Pethokoukis

NO
James Pethokoukis
Money & Politics Columnist
Reuters
He has shown himself to be an able general during the crisis, but has shown no feel for the real-time economy. He will need that skill when withdrawing Fed stimulus from the economy and, eventually, raising interest rates.

Robert Reich
Robert Reich

YES
Robert Reich
Former Labor Secretary
Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
But the Senate should couple its confirmation with new legislation forcing the Fed to be more transparent about what it’s doing.

Noam Scheiber
Noam Scheiber

YES
Noam Scheiber
The New Republic
Yes, this was a very sound decision. Bernanke has been creative and unorthodox at precisely the moment when the economy demanded these qualities from the Fed, and when a conservative, by-the-book approach would have likely sent us into a depression. Also, the case for continuity is overwhelming while the economy and financial markets are still fragile.

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