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Bernanke Receives First Nod as Head Monetary Policy-maker

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Those who regularly dissect the highly quoted "Greenspanese" for predictions of the U.S. economy will soon have a new language to learn—that of Ben Bernanke. If confirmed by the Senate, Bernanke will assume his four-year post as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board on Feb. 1, 2006, ending Alan Greenspan's 18-year reign on the job upon his retirement on Jan. 31, 2006.

Bernanke was first named to the Fed's Board of Governors by President George Bush in 2002, and since June has headed the White House's Council of Economic Advisers. Confirmed by the Senate Banking Committee after a one-day hearing Nov. 15, Bernanke easily won the approvals of Capitol Hill and his famous predecessor.

"The president has made a distinguished appointment in Ben Bernanke," Greenspan states. "Ben comes with superb academic credentials and important insights into the ways our economy functions. I have no doubt that he will be a credit to the nation as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board."

Bernanke graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1975 and received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979. He was professor of economics at Princeton University and then chairman of the economics department there until 2002.

Bernanke must first be confirmed by the full Senate. If approved, he will preside over his first FOMC meeting as Fed chairman on March 28.