August 25th, 2009
08:59 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama nominates Bernanke to second term

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama officially nominated Ben Bernanke to a second term as head of the Federal Reserve Monday.

"Ben Bernanke has led the Fed through the one of the worst financial crises that this nation and this world have ever faced," Obama said Tuesday in an announcement from his vacation spot in Martha's Vineyard.

"As an expert on the causes of the Great Depression, I’m sure Ben never imagined that he would be part of a team responsible for preventing another. But because of his background, his temperament, his courage, and his creativity, that’s exactly what he has helped to achieve," the president also said.

Text of Obama's full announcement after the jump

Remarks of President Barack Obama, as prepared for delivery

The Nomination of Ben Bernanke for Chairman of the Federal Reserve

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Good morning everyone. I apologize for interrupting the relaxing I told you all to do, but I have an important announcement to make concerning the Federal Reserve.

The man next to me, Ben Bernanke, has led the Fed through the one of the worst financial crises that this nation and this world have ever faced. As an expert on the causes of the Great Depression, I’m sure Ben never imagined that he would be part of a team responsible for preventing another. But because of his background, his temperament, his courage, and his creativity, that’s exactly what he has helped to achieve. And that is why I am re-appointing him to another term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Ben approached a financial system on the verge of collapse with calm and wisdom; with bold action and outside-the-box thinking that has helped put the brakes on our economic freefall. Almost none of the decisions he or any of us made have been easy. The actions we have taken to stabilize our financial system, repair our credit markets, restructure our auto industry, and pass a recovery package have all been steps of necessity, not choice. They have faced plenty of critics, some of whom argued that we should stay the course or do nothing at all. But taken together, this "bold, persistent experimentation" has brought our economy back from the brink. They are steps that are working. Our recovery plan has put tax cuts in people’s pockets, extended health care and unemployment insurance to those who have borne the brunt of this recession, and is continuing to save and create jobs that otherwise would have been lost. Our auto industry is showing signs of life. Business investment is showing signs of stabilizing. Our housing market and credit markets have been saved from collapse.

Of course, as I have said before, we are a long way away from a completely healthy financial system and a full economic recovery. And I will not let up until those Americans who are looking for jobs can find them; until qualified businesses, large and small, who need capital to grow can find loans at a rate they can afford; and until all responsible mortgage-holders can stay in their homes. That is why we need Ben to continue the work he’s doing, and that is why I’ve said that we cannot go back to an economy based on overleveraged banks, inflated profits, and maxed-out credit cards.

For even as we have taken steps to rescue our financial system and our economy, we must now work to rebuild a new foundation for growth and prosperity. We must build an economy that works for every American, and one that leads the world in innovation, investments, and exports.

Part of that foundation has to be a financial regulatory system that ensures we never face a crisis like this again. We have already seen how lax enforcement and weak regulation can lead to enormous wealth for a few and enormous pain for everyone else. And that’s why even though there is some resistance on Wall Street from those who prefer things the way they are, we will pass the reforms necessary to protect consumers, investors, and the entire financial system. And we will continue to maintain a strong and independent Federal Reserve.

We will also keep working towards the reform of a health insurance system whose costs and discriminatory practices are bankrupting our families, our businesses, and our government. We will continue to build a clean energy economy that creates the jobs and industries of the future within our borders. And we will give our children and our workers the skills and training they need to compete for these jobs in the 21st century.

Much like the decisions we’ve made so far, the steps we take to build this new foundation will not be easy. Change never is. As Ben and I both know, it comes with debate and disagreement and resistance from those who prefer the status quo. And that’s ok, because that’s how democracy is supposed to work. But no matter how difficult change is, we will pursue it relentlessly because it is absolutely necessary to lift this country up and create an economy that leads to good jobs, broad growth, and a future our children can count on. That is what we are here to do, and that’s what we will continue to do in the months ahead. I want to congratulate Ben on the work he’s done this far, and wish him continued success in the hard work ahead. Thank you.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Kurt

    Obama should nominate himself out of office

    August 25, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. Donna

    I guess Obama didn't pack any ties for his vacation. Did the white house have to pack the podium, blue curtains and flags in hurry, or does Obama just travel with them?

    August 25, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |

    I think this is a good move. Just like in sports when you don't want to change managers in the middle of the rebuilding process.

    August 25, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  4. Steph

    I think this is a great decision. We need consistent leadership to continue to guide us out of this economic crisis. Thank you President Obama for taking time out of your one week vacation to announce this nomination!

    August 25, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  5. josh

    I wish Obama , while he was talking finances would explain why he was two trilliion off on his debt estimate. That's alot of money to ignore
    when your children have to pay it off!!!!!!!!!!! Really.

    August 25, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "We have already seen how lax enforcement and weak regulation can lead to enormous wealth for a few and enormous pain for everyone else"

    This is why I find it mind-blowing when citizens currently complain about too much government regulation, and interference. Lack of both brought us to this crucifix. If the current administration had chosen to continue along the path of the status quo, Mr. Bernanke would indeed be facing a full-blown economic depression.

    Along those same lines I found South Carolina's McMasters blame game beyond stupefying. To blame the loss of 39,000 jobs on President Obama's administration, considering that the economy was swirling around in the toilet a full 2 years prior to his inauguration, takes testosterone-induced chutzpah. Ley's pray that South Carolina voters are not as moronic as their local government leaders apparently consider them to be.

    August 25, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. lf

    A good Choice, I think!!

    August 25, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I would like to add my personal thanks to Mr. Bernanke and the President for saving my job in the auto industry. Things looked beyond tenous there for a long minute, but thanks to "bold action" indeed, I no longer fear coming to work to find an 'out of business' sign plastered across the front door. In addition, the extended unemployment benefits helped my unemployed husband until the economy started to right itself and he was able to find employment in his field. Both my husband and I are college graduates who have NEVER taken a dime from the gov't.

    August 25, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. T22

    "Ben Bernanke has led the Fed through the one of the worst financial crises that this nation and this world have ever faced,"

    Or put another way "has led the nation into one of the worst financial crises....

    Heck of a job Bennie!

    August 25, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. rhoward

    No big surprise since the crooks who engineered the economic mess in this country are all reaping big rewards for screwing the rest of us.

    August 25, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. lxm

    Like that was a surprize... Obama you are the worst President EVER!!!!!

    August 25, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. Phil

    Bernanke is the fireman who set the fire.

    August 25, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. D. Tree

    Its fine with me – but it would be great if the GOP would stop holding up the rest of Obama's important nominations.

    They are criticizing the way Obama is leading, yet they won't even let him put his team on the ground!

    August 25, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Mississippi Mike

    Great. He invites the man who oversaw a major recession to lead the economy once again. Another brilliant move by the genius novice.

    August 25, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. strong

    These crooked politicians (yes, that includes Barky) love to pat each other on the back. Absolutely sickening.

    Who cares anymore. The average worker/taxpayers is just sucked dry.

    August 25, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. mark

    This is the first thing obama has done correctly...

    August 25, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. stay on it

    thank you mr. pres

    we need you great team, you are doing a great job

    August 25, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. WILLIAM, from CaLi!

    Sounds a little "self-serving" to me.This guy is a "Bush left-over" and if things get worst before they get better......He will probably be the "fall guy"!...........phrases like "expert on the Great Depression" or "part of this great team".... "he has helped".........Sounds like these Great Demo thinkers, believe they have made things better for the "AVERAGE GUY" and the putting us deeper and deeper in debt... for years to come. Is that PROGRESS? I DON'T THINK SO!

    August 25, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  19. JS007

    Great move! Many people do not appreciate this, but when history books are written Bernanke and Obama will be hailed for averting the Great Depression II.

    August 25, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. S Callahan New York

    Body language says more than words....the distress is seen on both of their faces. This is not over.
    God has called his people (you) to him...and states..
    My people have committed two sins.
    They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water (jer2:13)...he asks...Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord your God when he led you in the way?

    What does he need to say or do for you to understand? God is good , all the time. He is calling all of us back to him.

    August 25, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  21. RealityKing

    Bernanke would be wise to step down now. Nothing he can do will prevent the impending economic disaster created by Obama's progressively clueless trillion dollar budget deficits..

    August 25, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, I have to say that Bernanke needs to make sure that the recovery continues. He knows what he did and what needs to be done to keep us from going back down. Can he do it? Only time will tell...

    August 25, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. Il Voter

    Congratulations to Bernake for second term and his courage to help tide this mess.

    August 25, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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