Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was named Person of the Year by Time magazine on Wednesday, giving him a high-profile boost as he tries to fend off proposals that might weaken the Fed's independence.I still say Steve Jobs should've gotten it or even Glenn Beck. For some reason Nancy Pelosi finished 2nd.
The selection puts the mild-mannered Bernanke, a former professor, in the company of U.S. President Barack Obama, Pope John Paul II and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among other prominent world figures the magazine has picked in past years.
The Senate is considering Bernanke's nomination to a second term to head the Fed -- the U.S. central bank -- and while he is expected to win confirmation, criticism of the Fed among the public and members of Congress is at its highest in decades.
The Fed's role in bailouts of Wall Street has prompted criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. Some lawmakers are pushing proposals to curb the Fed's regulatory powers and open up its interest rate decision to congressional audits.
The Fed worries that congressional second-guessing of its policy decisions would compromise its fiercely-guarded independence.
One poll by Rasmussen Reports this month showed public support for Bernanke's nomination at a scant 21 percent, with 41 percent stating opposition, but he continues to enjoy support on Wall Street and among many lawmakers.