Watch out for the quiet ones: Bernanke 1, Summers 0
Watch out for the quiet ones in the War of the Wonks (OK so we’re being a bit dramatic).
Mild-mannered Ben Bernanke gets to keep his five-star financial job as Federal Reserve Chairman, winning out over speculation that President Barack Obama was thinking about replacing him with Larry Summers, known among other things for his outsized ego.
Delving into the past of the grey-beard, here are some clues about what propelled him to become the nation’s economic engineer — a job he managed to hold on to despite a national unemployment rate approaching 10 percent.
Bernanke was a bit of a rebel as a child, evading work at the family drug store on Main Street in Dillon, South Carolina, to read comic books, as he revealed when accepting the “Order of the Palmetto” from his hometown.
He took risks as a young adult, leaving the known of South Carolina for the unknown of Harvard where he recounts, “I took in the scene, so foreign to my experience, and I said to myself, ‘What have I done?’”
Whatever he was doing, it worked. He ended up teaching economics at Princeton. And he’s been recognized for his industriousness with a bit of Interstate highway named after him.
He’s very interested in the international — we hear he likes British fiction like authors Anthony Trollope and PG Wodehouse. And the domestic — he’s a big fan of baseball.
Bernanke also drinks Diet Dr Pepper and Diet Coke (we’re not quite sure of the meaning of that, but hey it is the Fed we’re talkin’ about).
Put it all together and voila! It produces a Fed Chairman.