federal reserve

Janet Yellen: The new Federal Reserve chair

Ben Bernanke
Ben Bernanke © Photo by Talk Radio News Service

Current position:

  • Distinguished Fellow in Residence at The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., think tank.

Education:

  • B.A. in economics from Harvard University.
  • Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professional background:

  • Federal Reserve chairman from February 2006 through January 2014.
  • Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush.
  • Professor of economics at Princeton University, 1985-2002.
  • Professor of economics at Stanford University, 1979-1985.

His legacy: Bernanke should rightfully be remembered for saving the U.S. economy from an outright depression in 2008, says McBride.

"He deserves credit for having a steady hand, because things could have been so much worse," says McBride. "But ultimately his legacy will depend on whether the stimulus can be removed without causing significant disruption to the economy or inflation. The book won't be closed on Bernanke for years."

Yun agrees that Bernanke's actions meant that the country had a Great Recession instead of a second Great Depression.

"Even though the recovery is sluggish, it's moving in the right direction," he says.

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