WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Banking Committee and Chairman of the Economic Policy Subcommittee, today issued a statement in response to the confirmation of Ben Bernanke as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
“The Federal Reserve’s mission is to promote employment and provide our economy with stable prices and a sound banking system. In my conversations with Chairman Bernanke, I have expressed my disappointment that the Fed in the past has treated Wall Street with kid gloves at the expense of working families and small businesses.
“The Fed was too slow to protect people from predatory lenders and credit card excess. And taxpayers will bear the cost for years for the failure of the Fed to rein in risky lending practices on Wall Street. The Fed must share blame – along with other regulators – for not exercising its authority to act sooner to help the middle class.
“While the Fed did not do a good job of enforcing and updating the fire codes, it did a very good job of fighting the fire that broke out in the fall of 2008 and threatened to burn down the economy. Chairman Bernanke took aggressive and creative action to stave off a financial crisis unlike any since the Great Depression. Our economy is still struggling and unemployment remains much too high. But we would likely be in much worse shape if not for Chairman Bernanke’s leadership.
“Now we need that leadership, and that of the entire Obama Administration, in applying the same creativity and sense of urgency to the jobs crisis. Credit is still in too short supply across the country. Almost every day I hear from another small business in Ohio that is struggling to maintain jobs as its bank pulls back. We need to unfreeze the credit market so that manufacturers can expand operations and hire new workers.
“Rejecting Chairman Bernanke’s nomination could bring a fresh perspective to the position, but it could also set back an already tenuous economic recovery. We cannot let a political tug-of-war over a successor overshadow the need for an economic recovery that creates jobs and puts the middle class first.”