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Obama lauds Bernanke but is mum on second term

June 16, 2009 |  4:34 pm

President Obama today praised Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke for doing an "extraordinary job" but wouldn't say whether he would nominate him for a second term.

From Bloomberg News:

Bernanke has "done an extraordinary job under extraordinary circumstances," Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the White House. On a potential reappointment, Obama said, "I’m not making news on that today."

Obama Bernanke, 55, has led the central bank’s unprecedented response to the nation’s financial crisis and deep recession, including by extending trillions of dollars in credit to banks and other financial companies and by cutting the Fed's key short-term interest rate to near zero.

President George W. Bush appointed Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan in February 2006. Bernanke’s initial four-year term as chairman ends Jan. 31.

Obama on Wednesday will announce a major revamp of how the government regulates the financial system. The Fed is expected to get extensive new authority to better police risks in the system as a whole.

"We think that the Fed is best positioned to do that," Obama told Bloomberg.

-- Tom Petruno

Photo: President Obama. Credit: Mandel Ngan / AFP Getty Images