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Bernie Sanders Blocks Bernanke Confirmation... With Bi-Partisan Support

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WASHINGTON, December 2 -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today placed a hold on the nomination of Ben Bernanke for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.

"The American people overwhelmingly voted last year for a change in our national priorities to put the interests of ordinary people ahead of the greed of Wall Street and the wealthy few," Sanders said. "What the American people did not bargain for was another four years for one of the key architects of the Bush economy."

As head of the central bank since 2006, Bernanke could have demanded that Wall Street provide adequate credit to small and medium-sized businesses to create decent-paying jobs in a productive economy, but he did not.

He could have insisted that large bailed-out banks end the usurious practice of charging interest rates of 30 percent or more on credit cards, but he did not.

He could have broken up too-big-to-fail financial institutions that took Federal Reserve assistance, but he did not.

He could have revealed which banks took more than $2 trillion in taxpayer-backed secret loans, but he did not.

"The American people want a new direction on Wall Street and at the Fed. They do not want as chairman someone who has been part of the problem and who has been responsible for many of the enormous difficulties that we are now experiencing," Sanders said. "It's time for a change at the Fed."

The Federal Reserve has four main responsibilities: to conduct monetary policy in a way that leads to maximum employment and stable prices; to maintain the safety and soundness of financial institutions; to contain systemic risk in financial markets; and to protect consumers against deceptive and unfair financial products.

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Since Bernanke took over as Fed chairman in 2006, unemployment has more than doubled and, today, 17.5 percent of the American workforce is either unemployed or underemployed.

Not since the Great Depression has the financial system been as unsafe, unsound, and unstable as it has been during Mr. Bernanke's tenure. More than 120 banks have failed since he became chairman.

Under Bernanke's watch, the value of risky derivatives held at our nation's top commercial banks grew from $110 trillion to more than $290 trillion, 95 percent of which are concentrated in just five financial institutions.

Bernanke failed to prevent banks from issuing deceptive and unfair financial products to consumers. Under his leadership, mortgage lenders were allowed to issue predatory loans they knew consumers could not afford to repay. This risky practice was allowed to continue long after the FBI warned in 2004 of an "epidemic" in mortgage fraud.

After the financial crisis hit, Bernanke's response was to provide trillions of dollars in virtually zero-interest loans and other taxpayer assistance to some of the largest financial institutions in the world. Adding insult to injury, Bernanke refused to tell the American people the names of the institutions that received this handout or the terms involved.

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"Mr. Bernanke has failed at all four core responsibilities of the Federal Reserve," Sanders concluded. "It's time for him to go."

And a press release from campaign for America's future reports:


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The Auditors? It's unbelievable that the Congress ... by Hoss Hoss on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 8:12:41 PM
Let Ron Paul do the audit.... by Joe Vignolo on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 8:21:46 PM
What a perfect and basic explanation of the proble... by Bryan Emmel on Friday, Dec 4, 2009 at 2:59:19 AM
"Who watches the Watchmen?"Replace watchmen with a... by shirley reese on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 8:31:01 PM
Bernie Sanders is one of the few members of our Ho... by Simple Truth on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 9:07:31 PM
As an idealistic spokesman and a party-giver, the ... by Jason Paz on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 9:26:06 PM
While I agree that confirmation of Mr. Bernanke s... by Frank Rommey on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 9:32:22 PM
I am afraid that many ( Congress and me included) ... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 5, 2009 at 9:37:26 AM
while socialist Sanders is well-meaning, his socia... by Chris Bieber on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 10:29:37 PM
I greatly respect Ron Paul and his views on the Fe... by Jack Flanders on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 12:06:57 AM
You, sir, are listening to FOX too much. What you ... by janet o'connell on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 7:54:19 AM
Seriously, there is enough substance here that I, ... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 11:13:33 AM
That is hard for me to swallow. They are the ones... by Pesty on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 9:41:44 AM
Is this for real or just theater? I won't believe ... by Michael Lee on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 11:19:46 PM
good point. Still. Better this than nothing.... by Jack Flanders on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009 at 11:52:26 PM
Can he be pressured into backing off? Anything is ... by PrMaine on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 8:22:08 AM
Go Bernie! Bernake needs to go!... by Carol Davidek-Waller on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 2:11:47 AM
Thank you Senator Bernie Sanders ... thank you, th... by elena dumas on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 8:30:59 AM
Mr. Bieber.... by sommers on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 11:01:00 AM
I do hope Bernie and a few others aresuccessful in... by Michael Lee on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 11:54:21 AM
Bernie sanders is one of the few ,very few senator... by liberalsrock on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 1:38:05 PM
You see, why get lost in splitting hairs over arca... by Hoss Hoss on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 3:25:22 PM
Is there anything Obama has done in over 300 days ... by Aaron Aarons on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 6:53:30 PM
.... by Aaron Aarons on Thursday, Dec 3, 2009 at 10:50:20 PM
And I don't know why. The president is supposed to... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 5, 2009 at 9:54:46 AM
Who on Earth would want to assume the title of "sp... by Jack Flanders on Sunday, Dec 6, 2009 at 1:29:02 PM
click Employees (politicians)cannot fire the boss... by Michael Lee on Friday, Dec 4, 2009 at 9:19:47 AM
You are a real American looking out for the averag... by Starla Immak on Tuesday, Dec 8, 2009 at 11:08:49 AM