Why This Entrepreneur Supports BernankeGene Marks
This week Ben Bernanke and I bought a new car for my small business. I traded in my beloved 2007 Jeep Wrangler. Very noisy. Very bumpy. The roof leaked. Sometimes it shuddered violently on the highway. As a five-foot-five middle-aged, balding man with three kids, I looked ridiculous behind the wheel. Apart from that, it was a really fun car. Except that my wife hated it. Last week I decided it was time to grow up and get something more appropriate. Ben Bernanke and I bought a 2009 Nissan Murano. Not a bad choice for a couple of middle-aged, balding guys. You've probably figured out that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke didn't accompany me to a Nissan dealership in Delaware to buy my new Murano. He's got other things on his plate: the recession, the credit crisis, and his looming reappointment. easy credit, hanky-panky, weak dollarThat's why I decided to buy this new car. It seems inevitable that Bernanke will be reappointed as Fed chairman. I like what he's done so far. I'm confident, as a small business owner, that he'll do a good job over the next four years. I'm O.K. to buy the vehicle. Plus my wife threatened divorce if I didn't get rid of the Jeep before Christmas. Plenty of people would disagree with me about Bernanke. Some blame him for the easy credit environment that led to the latest financial crisis. Others blame him for not doing enough to stem financial industry hanky-panky that contributed to the problems. Still others are convinced that the increase in the money supply under his watch has caused our dollar to weaken, inevitably resulting in higher inflation. That's all beside the point. My beloved Jeep is gone. My wife is happy. Ben Bernanke's probably going to get reappointed to another four-year term at the Fed. So what can small business owners expect? For starters, give the guy some props. He's studied and written extensively on the Great Depression. In the past couple of years he had the chance to put his years of study to good use. The result? There was no depression. We are in a recovery. Sure, there are some trouble spots in the economy. Sure, he made some mistakes. But he kept the financial system sound. My small business was able to deposit money, cash checks, and send wire transfers through all the turmoil. The lights didn't go out. There was gas for my beloved Jeep. If, God forbid, a similar panic hits again, I think Bernanke is as equipped to deal with the situation as anyone else out there. A lot of small business owners have blamed the Fed for the tight credit market. Bernanke has publicly stated his concern about tight credit, particularly for small businesses. He's no stranger to small business. In fact, his family ran a small business in South Carolina when he was a kid. He's provided as much liquidity as possible to a financial services industry that's still getting over a catastrophe. It's going to take time for the industry to recover. It will happen. Even CIT Group (CIT), one of the largest lenders to small businesses in the country, is emerging from its Nov. 1 bankruptcy this month. Bernanke's actions are helping lenders get back on their feet. That's a good thing for small businesses. Bernanke: A fellow balding Darwinian?Another thing I like about Bernanke: He's power-hungry, but for the right reasons. He's overseen the most expansive use of the Fed since the Great Depression. Yet he doesn't want the Fed to be subject of government oversight.
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