Ben Bernanke


DEFINITION of 'Ben Bernanke'

The chairman of the board of governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Bernanke took over the helm from Alan Greenspan on February 1, 2006, ending Greenspan's 18-year leadership at the Fed. A former Fed governor, Bernanke was chairman of the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisors prior to being nominated as Greenspan's successor in late 2005.

BREAKING DOWN 'Ben Bernanke'

Born Ben Shalom Bernanke on December 13, 1953, he was the son of a pharmacist and a schoolteacher and was raised in the Southeastern United States. A high-achieving student, Bernanke completed his undergraduate degree summa cum laude at Harvard University, then went on to complete his Ph.D. at MIT in 1979. He taught economics at Stanford and then Princeton University until 2002, when he left his academic work for public service.

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  1. How is the Federal Reserve audited?

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Federal Reserve is extensively audited. Politicians on the left and right of a populist ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What happens if interest rates increase too quickly?

    When interest rates increase too quickly, it can cause a chain reaction that affects the domestic economy as well as the ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. When was the last time the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates?

    The last time the U.S. Federal Reserve increased the federal funds rate was in June 2006, when the rate was increased from ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Do lower interest rates increase investment spending?

    Lower Interest rates encourage additional investment spending, which gives the economy a boost in times of slow economic ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Who decides when to print money in the US?

    The U.S. Treasury decides to print money in the United States as it owns and operates printing presses. However, the Federal ... Read Full Answer >>
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    The U.S. Constitution does not mention the need for a central bank, nor does it explicitly grant the government the power ... Read Full Answer >>

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