9/20/2013 12:52 PM ET|
Buffett's own candidate for Fed chief: Ben Bernanke
Berkshire Hathaway's CEO thinks the current chairman has done a great job. Why take a '400 hitter" out of the lineup, he asks.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett has his own candidate: He wants Ben Bernanke to serve another term.
"If you have a '.400 hitter' in the line-up, you don't take him out," Buffett told CNBC in a joint interview with Bank of America (BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan.
Buffett said he admired Bernanke's performance during the 2008 crash and since then. "He's done a terrific job, and I think he ought to get a chance to play out a little more of his hand," Buffett told CNBC.
What about Yellen? Buffett said he didn't know her. If there's a critique of Yellen, a widely respected academic economist, it is that she is not especially visible in the political world of Washington. Among those who really don't know her: President Barack Obama, the man who would have to nominate her.
Who did Bank of America's Moynihan want as the Fed boss? He diplomatically wouldn't say. But he did say he thought the economy was improving -- steadily if slowly. It takes a lot of work to get an economy hurt so badly in the recession to turn around, he added.
Whether Bernanke wants another four years in the job isn't clear. At Wednesday's news conference after the Fed announced it wasn't tapering its $85-billion-a-month bond purchases, Bernanke would only say that he would reveal his plans soon.
The understanding in Washington for months has been that Bernanke wanted to leave office on Jan. 31, 2014, when his current term expires. He had to be talked into serving a second term. The job proved exhausting.
Bernanke was one of the key players in helping to stabilize the domestic banking and credit systems in 2008 and 2009. He also was one of the creative voices that crafted the Fed's quantitative easing programs -- the huge series of bond purchases that were supposed to help boost the economy by keeping long-term interest rates low.
The three rounds of quantitative easing have been increasingly controversial, with critics charging that ending the bond-buying smoothly, without disrupting markets around the world, will be extremely difficult.
Others say the bond-buying has helped the domestic economy in particular recover more strongly than, say, European economies.
One group that has especially benefited: Investors in stocks. U.S. equities have more than doubled since the 2009 market bottom. They hit new highs after Wednesday's Fed decision.
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