Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke gave his last press conference as chair and already the retrospectives have begun. One item that should be corrected off the top, Bernanke did not just inherit an economic disaster from Alan Greenspan.
Bernanke did not go directly from being a Princeton economics professor to being Fed chair. He got there by being a member of the Board of Governors of the Fed from 2002 to 2005, and then was chair of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers from the spring of 2005 until he took over as Fed chair in January of 2006. In other words, Bernanke held top policy posts during the period when the housing bubble was growing to ever more dangerous levels, driven by a flood of junk mortgages.
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