US President Barack Obama has announced he wants Ben Bernanke to get a second four-year term as head of the Federal Reserve, praising his “calm and wisdom” in the face of a near financial collapse.
Standing alongside Mr Bernanke for the statement on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Mr Obama said the US was “a long way away” from a complete economic recovery.
But the vacationing President also said 55-year-old Mr Bernanke tackled the crisis “with bold action and outside-the-box thinking” that helped limit the damage. Mr Bernanke succeeded Alan Greenspan as head of the country's leading agency on monetary policy and his nomination to another term is subject to Senate confirmation.
Mr Bernanke's initial four-year tenure is to come up for renewal in January.
“Ben approached a financial system on the verge of collapse with calm and wisdom, with bold action and outside-the-box thinking that has helped put the brakes on our economic free-fall,” the President said.
“Our auto industry is showing signs of life. Business investment is showing signs of stabilising. Our housing market and credit markets have been saved from collapse.
“Taken together, all of these steps have brought our economy back from the brink. They are steps that are working.”
In sticking with Mr Bernanke, Mr Obama is looking to reassure the financial sector as well as foreign central banks that his administration has no plans to change course on its largely well-received approach to rescuing the industry from its meltdown or its management of overall monetary policy.