Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today released the following statement on the Banking Committee's approval of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's nomination to a second term.
"I believe that the Federal Reserve failed to protect the American people in the years leading up to the current crisis. Many of these failures occurred during Dr. Bernanke's tenure as chairman.
"Most significantly, the Fed lacked the foresight to see the dangerous trends that were developing on Wall Street and in our mortgage markets. These lapses in oversight helped wreck our economy and forced American taxpayers to clean up the mess. In addition, the Fed did not act to protect consumers from the foreclosure crisis, which has wreaked havoc in too many of our communities. These are serious lapses that have caused me to struggle with Chairman Bernanke's nomination.
"But, in the last year, the Chairman has worked hard to prevent the mess on Wall Street from triggering an outright Depression. While I don't agree with everything that Chairman Bernanke has done to address the economic crisis, I believe that his judgment and temperament helped us through this difficult period. These were extraordinary challenges and Chairman Bernanke made important decisions that stopped the economic hemorrhaging.
"We nonetheless have a long way to go before our economy truly recovers. For example, we need to do more to promote small business lending. During the Chairman's confirmation hearings, I challenged him to show evidence of the Fed's actions on this front.
"With all of this in mind, I supported President Obama's nomination of Chairman Bernanke for a second term. Moving forward, however, all of us must be mindful that for the benefit of the American people and the people of my state, we must enact economic policies that support hard work, investment, and prudence, and not, as we've seen in the last decade, encourage corner cutting, short-sighted greed, and irresponsible debt. In many ways, it's just that simple."
- Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado