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For Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, 2009 may be a tough year as political battles pile on top of tough economic challenges.
Bernanke must juggle a host of problems as he tries to revive the economy. With the U.S. unemployment rate at 9.4 percent and still climbing, he faces the challenge of recovering from an 18-month-old recession with unconventional policies that some worry will ignite inflation.
On the political front, he has the daunting task of convincing Congress the Fed deserves a leading role in a restructured financial oversight system even as he addresses criticism of Fed failings before the financial collapse and some actions since.
Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd said giving the Fed more authority “is like having a parent giving his son a bigger, faster car, right after he crashed the family station wagon.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are urging Congress to act swiftly on a $700 billion bailout plan for the financial system.
Politico.com quotes a former Federal Reserve official as saying, “the alternative is complete financial Armageddon and a great depression.”