Monday, January 25, 2010

No to Bernanke

Fed chair Ben Bernanke spent trillions to bail out Wall Street, but he's turning a blind eye to regular Americans. Now he's up for a second term. Can you ask Sen. Gillibrand to vote against confirming Bernanke?

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Phone: 202-224-4451

Click Here
Dear MoveOn member,

With the struggling economy topping the list of concerns for most Americans, it's clear that we need new economic leadership in Washington

Instead, President Obama has renominated Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, a holdover from the Bush administration, for another term.

Bernanke presided over the biggest Wall Street bailout in history, making trillions of dollars in loans to big banks with no oversight.1 But after taking extreme measures to save the banks, Bernanke has shown no interest in helping regular folks who can't find jobs, even though ensuring "full employment" is explicitly part of his mandate.2

The Senate is getting ready to vote on Bernanke's nomination. Can you ask Sen. Gillibrand to vote against reconfirming Bernanke as Fed Chair?

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Phone: 202-224-4451

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Bernanke has had numerous opportunities to tell Congress and the American people specifically how he'll change the Fed policies that contributed to the financial meltdown and how he'll work to clean up the mess it created. Instead, all he's offered are platitudes and inaction.

When asked what the Fed would do differently next time, Bernanke called for "better and smarter" regulation, without any explanation of what that means. He's also pushed for giving regulators more power over financial firms—but he won't acknowledge that regulators didn't use the powers they already had this time. And he won't admit that the Fed completely missed the real-estate bubble, even though many outside economists were warning of the danger it posed.3

Bernanke has also opposed a cornerstone of the administration's financial reform package: the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. He wants to keep responsibility for consumer protection where it is now: under his authority at the Fed. That idea is ludicrous—it was the Fed that refused to protect consumers from the shady subprime mortgage lenders and ripoff credit card deals that imperiled our economy.4

Finally, and perhaps most troublingly, Bernanke has completely ignored his responsibility to help fight massive unemployment. He acknowledged to Congress that there are steps the Fed could take that would "stimulate spending and output" to help our economy start growing again. But he's not interested in taking them.5

With views like this, it's clear that Bernanke is more interested in continuing business as usual than helping those who are struggling. We just can't afford to have someone like that setting economic policy. Please call Sen. Gillibrand today and ask her to vote against confirming Ben Bernanke.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Phone: 202-224-4451

After you call, let us know here:

Thank you for all you do.

–Daniel, Noah, Ilya, Kat, and the rest of the team


1. "U.S. Taxpayers Risk $9.7 Trillion on Bailout Programs," Bloomberg News, February 9, 2009

2. "Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act," Wikipedia, January 25, 2010

3. "Fed Missed This Bubble. Will It See a New One?," The New York Times, January 5, 2010

4. "Bernanke and Geithner clash over consumer protection," CNN, July 29, 2009

"Why the Fed Can't Do Consumer Regulation," The New Republic, October 18, 2009

5. "Ben Bernanke and the Pringles Problem," Think Progress, December 18, 2009

"The curse of Montagu Norman," The New York Times, December 18, 2009

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