Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan says enough with all the attacking of Ben Bernanke.
"Anyone has the right to criticize Federal Reserve policy, but it is wholly inappropriate and destructive to engage in ad hominem attacks," Greenspan told The Financial Times, referring to GOP presidential candidates' bashing of his successor, Ben Bernanke.
Bernanke has led the Fed since 2006, during the financial crisis, recession and recovery. His drastic actions to stimulate the economy -- keeping interest rates near zero and tripling the size of the Fed's balance sheet -- have become a flashpoint in the Republican presidential primary. On top of all that, add to this the irony that Greenspan and Bernanke actually are Republicans.
Ron Paul, a Republican Congressman and presidential candidate, has long called for an end to the Federal Reserve and a return to the gold standard. Once seen as largely outside the mainstream, Paul's views on the Fed have been gaining traction in the Republican discourse.
When he was still in the race, Texas Governor Rick Perry derided Bernanke saying in August that if the Fed chairman "prints more money between now and the election, I don't know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas." He added that printing more money before the election would be "almost treasonous."
Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney has said that if he gets elected he wouldn't let Bernanke stay on as Fed chairman. "I wouldn't keep Bernanke in office. I would choose someone of my own," Romney said in October.
Newt Gingrich expressed similar sentiments: "If they want to really change things, the first person to fire is Bernanke, who is a disastrous chairman of the Federal Reserve," Gingrich said in October.
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