The fight for the Fed

I'm not a Wall Street person. I'm an academic. I come from a small town," a visibly exasperated Ben Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee on 3 December during his confirmation hearing. Two months later, after a series of high-profile bruising encounters, Bernanke could breathe a sigh of relief over his re-appointment for a second four-year term as chairman.

Yet the manner of his appointment - a matter of days before his term was due to expire and with the largest show of dissent for a confi