Alan Greenspan said that if nominated, he would accept a fifth term as chairman of the

Federal Reserve

.

The statement, reported by the

Associated Press

, came one day after President Bush told a group of reporters at the White House that he was in favor of renominating Greenspan, who is 77 years old.

"If President Bush nominates me and the Senate confirms his choice, I would have every intention of serving," Greenspan said Wednesday.

Greenspan's fourth term expires in 2004. He has presided over the Fed for 16 years, winning acclaim for quick action during the crash of 1987 but lately coming under fire from critics who said he was partly responsible for the tech-stock bubble of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Fed chairman's relationship with the White House has been less than cozy, too, after he argued before Congress in February for fiscal discipline rather than tax cuts.

Ironically, Greenspan bore a lot of Republican wrath in the early 1990s over the defeat of the first President Bush, who blamed him for not reacting quickly enough to the 1991 recession. It remains to be seen whether his frantic efforts to bail the economy out of its current malaise, which has included taking the fed funds rate down to a 40-year low of 1.25%, will spare the current president a similar fate.