Interesting column in this morning's WSJ on Bernanke's chances for re-appointment and the brewing battle over the Fed:
"Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a Senate hearing that could sway a clamorous debate over the power of the central bank, admitted mistakes in managing the economy but declared that his actions helped save America from another Great Depression. The hearing was to consider whether Mr. Bernanke should get a second four-year term as chairman of the Fed, but it was as much about the future of the institution as Mr. Bernanke's role at the helm. The central bank steers the economy by setting short-term interest rates and providing emergency loans to banks."
Whatever his chances were, this can't help:
"The Fed chairman refused to issue a judgment on the Obama administration's $787 billion fiscal stimulus package. When it passed earlier this year, Mr. Bernanke was a supporter.
On Thursday, he said, "It's a little bit early to make a strong judgment" about whether the stimulus plan was effective or if more fiscal action is needed."
Count that as Bernanke's recognition that stimu-pork has failed miserably.