. November 16, 2005 SouthAmerica: Ben Bernanke was not my first choice to be the new Fed Chairman, but among the people who were the main candidates for the job - he might be the best one. I hope he will keep in touch with Paul Krugman, and listen to what he has to say regarding economic and monetary policy. Ben Bernanke hired Paul Krugman at Princeton University â that might give you a clue that he respects Paul Krugmanâs opinions. Paul Krugman is one of the few economists that I enjoy reading his writings on a regular basis. I hope that Ben Bernanke will honor his pledge after his confirmation as Fed Chairman: "If I am confirmed, I will be strictly independent of all political influences and will be guided solely by the Federal Reserve's mandate from Congress and by the public interest," Bernanke said. I also hope that he has the guts to say to everyone in Washington that âtax cutsâ are not acceptable when the country is in the middle of a war, and is running a humongous budget deficit year after year. **** âBernanke Expected to Gain Senate Approvalâ Ben Bernanke Expected to Gain Swift Senate Approval to Be Next Fed Chairman By MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP Economics Writer AP â Associated Press â November 16, 2005 WASHINGTON Nov 16, 2005 â Ben Bernanke used his Senate confirmation hearing to address doubts about his abilities to take over as chairman of the Federal Reserve from economic legend Alan Greenspan. From the reaction of the senators, he succeeded. For those in financial markets who worried that his previous writings made him sound too dovish about fighting inflation, he pledged that battle would be a top priority. For those Democrats who fretted that his support of establishing numerical targets for inflation made him too hawkish on inflation, Bernanke promised to follow the central bank's dual mandates of seeking low inflation and high employment. And for those who believed that his current job as President Bush's chief economist would make him too politically tied to the current administration, he vowed to uphold the Fed's long-standing independence. "If I am confirmed, I will be strictly independent of all political influences and will be guided solely by the Federal Reserve's mandate from Congress and by the public interest," Bernanke said. At the end of the three-hour hearing, Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told Bernanke he planned to move the nomination "as soon as possible." The goal is to get Bernanke confirmed so that he will be ready to step in when Greenspan's 18-year tenure as chairman ends Jan. 31. Bernanke would take over at the Fed after serving since June as chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. Before that, he had served for three years on the Fed board after a long career as a professor at Princeton specializing in the study of how central banks operate. Private economists said Bernanke's performance Tuesday confirmed their belief that his selection was the economic equivalent of Bush's pick of the widely respected John Roberts to be chief justice of the Supreme Court. "He gave a bravura performance. For people who wondered about his political skills, he certainly answered those questions today," said Lyle Gramley, a former Fed board member. .