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Is he money in the bank?

October 25, 2005|Paul Thornton

MOST EDITORIAL boards today praise President Bush's nominee for Federal Reserve chairman while gushing over, with a few caveats, outgoing Chairman Alan Greenspan's 18 years at the helm. A few even breathe a sigh of relief: At least Ben S. Bernanke isn't a crony.

Both the Financial Times and the New York Times are glad that Bush didn't defer to a trust-me nominee a la Harriet E. Miers. "That [Bush] chose to appoint him, rather than a little-known political crony, is cause for celebration," the FT says. The Times, meanwhile, says other names being thrown around for the job were "downright frightening." Both papers wish Bernanke had more experience on Wall Street.

USA Today has a more gloomy outlook on Bernanke's prospects. But the problem isn't him, its editorial says -- it's the "fiscal storm largely beyond his control" that he's inheriting. Unless "fiscal policymakers" (Congress? Bush?) do something about the economy, Bernanke "won't be smart enough or powerful enough to succeed."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is more hopeful. Its editorial says that "Bush succeeded" in choosing someone who could live up to the legacy of Greenspan, a Fed chairman who showed that taming the economy "is an art, not a science."

Elsewhere, the Christian Science Monitor endorses Proposition 74, which would extend teachers' probationary period from two to five years. The Monitor points to better ways to improve teaching that other states are using -- including Massachusetts' merit pay -- but for now, it says, California needs some "timely weeding" of its teachers to get a jump-start.


Paul Thornton

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