Ben S. Bernanke was nominated today by President George W. Bush to succeed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Mr. Bernanke, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers and a former Federal Reserve governor, must be confirmed by the Senate before assuming the chairman's role when Mr. Greenspan retires on Jan. 31 after an 18-year tenure as Fed chairman.
"Ben Bernanke is the right man to build on the record Alan Greenspan has established," Mr. Bush said in a news conference at the White House.
At the same news conference, Mr. Bernanke said: "If I am confirmed, my first priority will be to maintain continuity with the policies and policy strategies established during the Greenspan years."
Milton Ezrati, partner and senior economic strategist at Lord Abbett, said Mr. Bush "couldn't have done better to pick a man Wall Street will believe when he says he will replace (Mr.) Greenspan seamlessly. ... Any changes will be in response to changing circumstances, not ideology."
Wall Street cheered the news, with stocks rallying. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 166.58 points, or 1.63%, to 10,381.80.