(Updated to include further detail from Tuesday morning's press conference.)
MARTHA'S VINVEYARD, Mass. (
) -- After steering the economy through a slew of controversial and unconventional rescue policies that appear to have staved off economic calamity,
Chairman Ben Bernanke will get a few more cracks at it.
President Barack Obama nominated Bernanke to a second term Tuesday.
The reappointment, made official before the opening bell at a press conference in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where the president and his family are vacationing, was seen on Wall Street mostly as a fait accompli, with the Obama administration content to offer the prospect of leadership stability at a fragile moment for a world economy seeking to mount a recovery.
U.S. stocks spiked higher on the news Tuesday morning and have hung onto those gains late in the afternoon, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
up nearly 50 points, or 0.5%, as the regular session entered its final hour.
With Bernanke at his side, the president said that the chairman had "led the Fed through one of the worst financial crises that this nation and this world have ever faced."
Over the past year, the Fed has worked to inject trillions of dollars into the financial infrastructure in order to unfreeze credit markets. The central bank also provided low-cost emergency loans to investment firms, which to that point was a privilege reserved for commercial banks.
"As an expert on the causes of the Great Depression, I'm sure Ben never imagined that he would be part of a team responsible for preventing another," Obama said at the presser, held in the gym of a local high school. "But because of his background, his temperament, his courage and his creativity, that's exactly what he has helped to achieve."
Bernanke, a former Princeton University economist, took over the helm of the Fed in 2006 from Alan Greenspan.
-- Written by Sung Moss in New York
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