Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ben promotes Bipartisanship

The WSJ reports:

Bernanke's Relations With Congress Become Rocky in Wake of AIG Deal

For one day at least in this politically-charged election season, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill appear to have buried the hatchet.

Right into Ben Bernanke.

In the wake of the Federal Reserve's bailout of insurance giant American International Group Inc., Mr. Bernanke's standing with Congress seems rockier than at has been in his two-and-a-half year tenure as Fed chairman.

"Why does one person have the right to grant $85 billion in a bailout without the scrutiny and transparency the American people deserve," asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif) a reference to the loan the Fed gave AIG with the Treasury's blessing....

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.) suggested Wednesday he was concerned that the Fed and Treasury were intervening in markets without restraint....

Meanwhile, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee, is gathering signatures for a letter to Messrs. Bernanke and Paulson stating that government bailouts "have set a dangerous and unmistakable precedent" for the federal government. "Federal investment in such large amounts of private ompany stock has the appearance of a socialist and not a free-market approach to managing our economy," the letter says.