The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Briggs (202) 557-1935

Sanders Says Democrats Must Decide on Bernanke, Will They Support Wall Street or Main Street


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today that a second
term for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would give Wall Street a green
light to continue the reckless behavior that dragged the economy to the brink
of collapse.

and President Obama are putting their credibility on the line if they think
they can criticize Wall Street and big banks one day and then turn around and
support Bernanke, Wall Street's candidate, the next day," Sanders
said. "That doesn't pass the smell test."

issue for Democrats is whether they will allow Republicans to pretend to be
the populist, anti-Wall Street party, or whether they will have the courage
to stand up to Wall Street and bring in a Fed chairman who will represent the
needs of working families rather than huge financial institutions,"
Sanders added.

also said it is long past the time to turn the page from the failed
deregulatory financial policies of the past. "Ben Bernanke was the top
economic advisor to George W. Bush. He was in lockstep agreement
with Alan Greenspan, who has now endorsed him. These are the people who let
Wall Street run amok. These are the people who brought us the worst economy
since the Great Depression. We have got to appoint a new Fed chairman to move
us in a very different direction."

has demanded that the Fed use its powers to substantially lower
outrageous credit card interest rates, protect homeowners facing foreclosure
and to make affordable credit available to small and medium-size
businesses. He also has demanded increased transparency at the Fed and
the names of financial institutions that took more than $2 trillion in secret
subsidies from the central bank. Bernanke has refused.

term expires on Jan. 31. A leader of the Senate effort to deny Bernanke a
second term, Sanders on Dec. 5 placed a hold on the nomination.

vote on whether to confirm Bernanke will be one of the most important
decisions senators will make during the Obama administration," Sanders

United States Senator for Vermont

(202) 224-5141