Why Bernanke to succeed Tim Geithner? He is probably the most influential and credible person in official Washington who is not part of the echo chamber on deficit reduction, and a Treasury secretary concerned more about recovery than austerity is just what Obama needs. And because the Fed, almost by definition, is assumed to be conservative, Bernanke would provide some cover for an expansionary program. I can think of people who'd be even better than Bernanke but I can't think of anyone as good who stands a prayer of being nominated. It's nothing short of weird when the most reliable progressive in town around turns out to be the chairman of the Federal Reserve. But such are the reactionary times in which we live.