Bernanke Vote: Where Does Your Senator Stand?

Robert Borosage

Is your senator going to vote this week to re-appoint Ben Bernanke to run the Federal Reserve, without demanding any accountability for actions before and during the financial crisis?

Let’s find out today, so we know whom to target before the vote. We’re asking progressive activists to join the “Bernanke Whip Count.”

The Campaign for America’s Future is partnering with OpenLeft.com on the “Bernanke Whip Count” to find out who is blindly supporting the Fed Chairman, so we can maximize grassroots pressure for accountability.

With anger at the bank bailout red hot, Bernanke’s re-appointment is no longer a sure thing. And the fear rhetoric is flying to save his nomination; tthat we somehow face economic apocalypse if we demand basic accountability.

What’s scary is re-appointing someone to one of the most powerful positions in the world without getting basic answers about his record.

How can the Senate vote for Bernanke without:

  • Launching a comprehensive investigation into the Fed’s role in the bailout of insurance giant A.I.G. and the big banks. Taxpayers are on the hook for hundreds of billions for AIG; big banks got paid off dollar for dollar. How does that make sense?
  • Requiring an audit of the Fed. Trillions were used to backstop American and foreign financial institutions. What were the terms? Who got helped and who got shafted and why? The Fed can’t commit literally trillions with no accountability whatsoever.
  • Demanding a detailed admission of responsibility from Bernanke showing he understands how he missed the housing bubble, and how he will change his approach to managing the economy.
  • Probing Bernanke’s views on reform. Bernanke has opposed the administration’s reform package, including the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, crucial to protecting consumers from credit card and bank abuse.

Hailing Bernanke for his work in saving the banking system from collapse is a bit like celebrating an arsonist for helping to put out the fire that he set.

It is simply inconceivable that senators would confirm Bernanke to another term as Chair of the Federal Reserve without demanding basic accountability – accountability that Bernanke has thus far blocked.

If Bernanke isn¹t held accountable for his actions and if he decides heads of banks don’t need to be held accountable either, then who is accountable?

Without accountability, Wall Street will remain one giant casino gambling with all of our livelihoods and hurtling towards the next crisis.

Accountability starts with us. Get involved.

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