Assess the actions of the FED Chairman in the economic collapse.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since there was not a specific economic crisis mentioned in the question, I am going to make the call that we are looking at the stewardship of the Federal Reserve during the economic collapse of the late 2000s and extending into today. Certainly, Chairman Bernanke's tenure as FED Chairman has to involve some discussion of the economic crisis happening on his watch.  I believe that one could argue that the "toxic" approach to lending out mortgages was something that a FED Chairman could have foreseen as leading to calamitous results in a sector of the market that is so vital to the middle class.  Additionally, I think that one could argue that Chairman Bernanke could have done more and been more of a force in seeing that unhealthy market manipulation in different sectors of the economy could all converge into plunging the nation, and thus the world, into an economic downward spiral still being felt today.  An Inquiry Commission appointed by President Obama concluded just as much, arguing that the Chairman's inability to act to "stem the tide of toxic mortgages" is only a part of where members like the Chairman's actions must be assessed:

Key policy makers [were] ill prepared for the crisis, lacking a full understanding of the financial system they oversaw; and systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels.

The FED Chairman is only one part of the financial system that must accept the blame for what happened in the financial crisis of the late 2000s.  Yet, since it happened on his watch, I don't think that he is able to escape accountability in assessing his actions.