Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Did a "2nd French jihadist" really appear in jihadist video?

Read more

DEBATE

Al-Sisi's Egypt: Is the Crackdown Justified?

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

'Consult-Station', the world's first telehealth booth

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Talal Abu Gazaleh, the "Godfather of Arab accounting"

Read more

FOCUS

Little support in Iran for nuclear negotiations with West

Read more

ENCORE!

Pierre Cardin's new Paris museum

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Obama to take executive action on immigration

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Probe into 'second French jihadist'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Forget bony, perky and perfect Barbie. Meet 'normal Barbie'!

Read more

Americas

Fed chairman Bernanke is Time's 'person of the year'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-16

Time magazine has named US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a former Princeton University economics professor and renowned expert of the 1930s Great Depression, its 2009 Person of the Year.

AFP - Time magazine on Wednesday named Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke its 2009 "Person of the Year."
   
"The recession was the story of the year," Time managing editor Richard Stengel said in a statement. "Without Ben Bernanke, Time's 2009 Person of the Year, it would have been a lot worse.
   
"We've rarely had such a perfect revision of the cliche that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it," Stengel said.
   
"Bernanke didn't just learn from history; he wrote it himself and was damned if he was going to repeat it."
   
Time said the runners-up for the award were General Stanley McChrystal, "the Chinese worker," Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, and Jamaican sprint champion Usain Bolt.
   
President Barack Obama, last year's winner, and Apple chief executive Steve Jobs were also on a shortlist of finalists revealed by Time on Monday.
   
Time senior writer Michael Grunwald said the main reason Bernanke was selected is because he is "the most important player guiding the world's most important economy.
   
"His creative leadership helped ensure that 2009 was a period of weak recovery rather than catastrophic depression, and he still wields unrivaled power over our money, our jobs, our savings and our national future," Grunwald said.
   
The 56-year-old Bernanke, in an interview with Time, said the financial crisis had brought the United States "very, very close to a depression.
   
"The markets were in anaphylactic shock," he said. "I'm not happy with where we are, but it's a lot better than where we could be... Of course there were things we could have done better, but this was a perfect storm."
   
On bringing down unemployment, Bernanke said "the additional steps aren't as obvious or clear as the ones we've already taken.
   
"It's an enormous problem. There aren't easy solutions," he said.
   
Asked about banker compensation, Bernanke said "I think that bankers ought to recognize that the government and the taxpayer saved the financial system from utter collapse last year.
   
"And in recognizing that, I would think that bankers ought to look in the mirror and decide that perhaps there should be some more restraint in how much they pay themselves, given what the government and the taxpayer did to protect the system," he said.

Date created : 2009-12-16

COMMENT(S)