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Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Posted: December 4, 2009 11:48 AM

Where Was the Fed?

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The American people overwhelmingly voted last year for a change in our national priorities to put the interests of ordinary people ahead of the greed of Wall Street and the wealthy few. What the American people did not bargain for was another four years for one of the key architects of the Bush economy.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in charge of the central bank since 2006, could have demanded that Wall Street provide adequate credit to small and medium-sized businesses to create decent-paying jobs in a productive economy, but he did not.

He could have insisted that large bailed-out banks end the usurious practice of charging interest rates of 30 percent or more on credit cards, but he did not.  He could have broken up too-big-to-fail financial institutions that took Federal Reserve assistance, but he did not. 

He could have revealed which banks took more than $2 trillion in taxpayer-backed secret loans, but he did not.

The American people want a new direction on Wall Street and at the Fed.  They do not want as chairman someone who has been part of the problem and who has been responsible for many of the enormous difficulties that we are now experiencing. It’s time for a change at the Fed.

We need a new chairman. We need somebody who is going to pay attention to small- and medium-sized business, somebody who is going to do everything he or she can to grow our economy and create decent paying jobs, somebody who is going to protect consumers against outrageously high interest rates on their credit cards, and somebody who is going to stand up for ordinary people.

I am going to do my best to see that Mr. Bernanke’s nomination is defeated.

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