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.

By Charley Blaine Sep 20, 2013 8:52AM
File photo of Warren Buffet in April 2011 (© Rick Wilking/Newscom/Reuters)Now that Larry Summers has pulled out as a candidate for the next Federal Reserve Chairman, Vice Chairman Janet Yellen is the frontrunner for the job.

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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Sep 20, 2013 9:50AM
I'm willing to bet Bernanke is thrilled to be leaving.  He's "gettin' out while the gettin' is good" as they say.  He's been able to flood the economy with trillions and won't be the man in charge when those chickens come home to roost.

Yellen is a "widely respected academic economist"?  In this day and age, that's code for "Keynesian theorist with no practical experience".

Sep 20, 2013 2:54PM
The only people who like Bernanke and his ilk are people who have directly profited in the stock markets from the money printing and bailouts: ie Buffet. Sure keep printing and Buffet (the skunk) nets another easy $5 billion while the rest of us get $5 a gallon gas and $5 loaves of bread.
Sep 20, 2013 3:22PM
Helicopter Ben is a HUGE IDIOT that works for a PRIVATELY OWNED BANK. He has RUINED any chance for a economy recovery for the next 50 years. Sure Billionaires love him. Ben has LINED THEIR POCKETS with the MIDDLE CLASS's MONEY.  ABOLISH the FEDERAL RESERVE. Give our country a future. Over 100 years of STEALING from us is ENOUGH!!! 
Sep 20, 2013 3:18PM
how much money is buffet making off it ???  The FED makes nothing...produces nothing....manufactures nothing .  BUT they're throwing 85 billion dollars a month to Wall Street....and haven't created one job ........except maybe their own
Sep 20, 2013 3:43PM

I agree with Buffett, but, I suspect for a different reason. I think Bernanke should be required to stick around for another term, and take responsibility for the bizarre consequences of his actions which are just now starting to materialize.

Like one of Lady Gaga’s outfits, you designed it, you wear it Ben. Don’t worry, we’ll still know it’s you behind the mask.

Sep 20, 2013 3:08PM
Why so they can fatten your wallet, while the common person''s stock money gets used for free political presents!
Mr. Burnake needs to retire as of  jANUARY, 2014 OR NOT SOONER!

Mr. Buffett you have been way to long at Congress and in  the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's space.

Sep 20, 2013 3:05PM
Yeah, Buffet.  You all getting a clue now about this Icon of BS and his cronies that do his bidding.  He just needs to go away and the sooner the better.  He is going to get "trapped" and is already under investigation.  If he gets called out all H will break loose and his legacy as well as many others' is history.  Have a nice weekend.
Sep 20, 2013 3:44PM

This is one of the few times when Buffett is making comments that are very self-serving and not true.  Buffett has made an unbelieveable amount of money in his lifetime, and a ton of money in the last several years almost directly related to Bernake's Fed policies.  Of course Bernake would be good for Buffett because his policies are directly in keeping with the ultra wealthy and with no regard whatsoever for the average person.


Bernake has done a downright awful job and should never have been allowed to take another term.  He was worse than Greenspan and that's saying something.  Mark my words:  the policies from the past several years will come back to haunt normal people far more than the people who have profited in recently years on the stock market will hurt when tapering finally begins and stocks come back to earth.

Sep 20, 2013 4:44PM
Buffett and Bernanke are spanking each others monkey?That answers the question why the 85 billion was not reduced.
Sep 20, 2013 4:40PM
Absolutely, Why would he say anything different? He and a good portion of millionaires and billionaires have greatly profited from all of this government spending. Millionaires and billionaires investing in multi trillion, billion and million dollar companies. See the trend? For what? The sake of helping his fellow man? Philanthropy? HOGWASH! He is out for numero uno folks. Any slight whiff of less quantitive easing is going to beach this whale. A new FED Chief is also going to affect markets most likely negatively. I'd say to Mr Buffett, put your money where your mouth is and every other major influential figure in the United States should do the same. We are just a nation of consumers, not producers which is turning all of us into a mere shell of what we once were. Now a debt ridden nation with more than half of us with our hands out. Make trillions, billions and millions of junk paper because one day, the pot will run dry and all that ink will be great for a large trash can fire. China is on the road of being numero uno.
Sep 20, 2013 4:29PM
Of course Benny wants to leave; the $hit is going to hit the fan real soon.  He thinks that maybe the people he screwed [about90% of the country] won't remember that HE did this to us? I, for one, won't forget. END THE GD FED!!!!!!
Sep 20, 2013 4:48PM
Billionaires love him at the helm. How else can they legally steal from everyone else and get a slap on the back and told well done.
Sep 20, 2013 4:05PM

Yes Bernanke was appointed by Bush, he is a Republican..

Reappointed by Obama...

But, I think HE wants to leave the Chair of the FED on his own....He is not, getting thrown out.


If Janet Yellin gets appointed, more than likely she will follow closely at what Bernanke has been doing.

Sep 20, 2013 3:14PM

Be nice if people could check on school grades and where all these people went to school.  Lots of fake people out there.   Fellow engineer at work years ago that was suppose to have a PHD degree, newspaper man started to do story on him and checked at schools for information, turned out that he had never completed his BS degree.  He was fired.  

    Wonder about all these people that are suppose to have a stack of degrees.   Wish some place would check on all these great people and put the information where the public could see it,  after all we have to pay the tab.  Be nice to know what we are paying for.   Would bet the world and Washington  is full of phonies. 

     If they are so smart, how did this country get so messed up?


Sep 20, 2013 4:25PM
shut it down! shut it down! shut it down! NO PROBLEM! EVERYTHING BUT THE OBAMACARE NIGHTMARE WILL BE FUNDED AND THAT'S WHAT THE MAJORITY OF THIS NATION EXPECTED THEIR REPRESENTATIVES TO DO! Frankly I'm impressed that they did it....tie this mess around the necks of that pig obama and his cronies, either way the nightmare of osamacare will be forever tied to the democrapic pigs in charge at the moment, that's the only thing that matters. period.
Sep 20, 2013 4:18PM
Buffett to helicopter Ben, Buffett to helicopter Ben,,,,, come in BEN,

 THis is  ben,,,,  come in buffet,,,,, I read you 5 x 5.

 Buffett to BEN ready to drop ?

 Yes buffet we are ready to drop, where would you like it ?????

Sep 20, 2013 6:58PM

2008 was a pretty scary event. Without government intervention, we would've seen the end of credit, the shutdown of more than half of the nation's banks, 25% unemployment, and a complete collapse of the housing market. What would've happened? Probably the buying out of a large portion of the nation's assets by hedge funds while 95% of the people in this country would've been completely financially destroyed. The affect on the rest of the world would've been even more catastrophic.

Sep 20, 2013 6:20PM

I'd rather hear from Jimmy Buffet.

Sep 20, 2013 4:32PM

Ben inherited a mess, no question about it. It was Greenspan the guy that really screwed up. We didn't even no what the hell he was saying most of the time. But, clearly all the signs were there while Greenspan was running the show. In fact he became super rich from all the BS he was giving and people were following him. 


No poor Ben had no real choice but to do what he did or we would be 100% worse off than we are. Clearly a mess and it is not over because of no good paying jobs a the greed of Wall Street along with CEO greed.

Sep 20, 2013 7:01PM

Buffet's reason for wanting this, he knows this moron is the only one stupid enough to keep pumping $1T+ into bonds so that the market doesn't collapse until Buffet has time to get his money out of stocks and into something safer. He hasn't bought a government bond in a long time. Why? Because he knows they are fast becoming worthless pieces of paper.


According to reports, the dollar has lost 7% of its value in just the past 30 days. How do you all think that will hit you? Inflation, unemployment, Depression, Economic collapse? If you voted for all 4, congrats, you are likely correct.

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