Here’s the statement just released by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), explaining why he intends to oppose Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s bid for a second term:
A chief responsibility of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is to ensure a sound financial system. Under the watch of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve permitted grossly irresponsible financial activities that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Under Chairman Bernanke’s watch predatory mortgage lending flourished, and ‘too big to fail’ financial giants were permitted to engage in activities that put our nation’s economy at risk.
And as it responds to the crisis it helped to usher in, the Federal Reserve under Chairman Bernanke’s leadership continues to resist appropriate efforts to review that response, how taxpayers’ money was being used, and whether it acted appropriately. When the full Senate considers his nomination, I will vote against another term for Chairman Bernanke.
Bernanke’s current term expires at the end of January, but with the Fed under fire for its handling of Wall Street’s financial collapse — particularly its opposition to disclosing where all of those taxpayer dollars went — more and more Democrats appear ready to line up in opposition to another term.
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