(SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE TO VOTE THURSDAY on whether he should be given another term!)
Bernanke has been praised and criticised for his handling of the recession [AFP]
Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, has been named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2009.
Wednesday's announcement comes a day before a Senate Banking Committee vote on whether Bernanke should be given another term.
Bernanke, who is 56, will be featured on the cover of the magazine that hits stores on Friday.
Last year's winner was then US President-elect Barack Obama and the 2007 winner was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Time said Bernanke was the reason the US financial crisis was not worse.
"The recession was the story of the year. Without Ben Bernanke ... it would have been a lot worse," Richard Stengel, Time magazine's managing editor, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"We've rarely had such a perfect revision of the cliche that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
"Bernanke didn't just learn from history; he wrote it himself and was damned if he was going to repeat it," he said.
The magazine also considered the first woman Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and Nato's Commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McCrystal, for the award.
Other previous title-holders have included U2 frontman Bono, former US President George Bush, and Amazon.com CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos.
Bernanke was sworn in as Federal Reserve chairman in February 2006.
He is a former Princeton University professor and an expert on the Great Depression.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera NOTE from Al Jazeera: "We look at the implications of the world economic crisis" and Counting The Cost: Watch Al Jazeera's weekly business show
Also coming - Fault Lines: The Colour of Recession"
See Announcement at Times Magazine timescanada dot com
SEE Contrast of "Person of the Year" awards:
oneheart blogger NOTE: The same year George W. Bush was on front cover of Times Magazine as the 'Person of the Year' Maher Arar was also on Times' front cover as Canada's 'Person of the Year' Watch soon for a profile on Maher Arar.
Here's from a report January 2005 on that event:
TIME (Canada) - Person of the Year - (a victim of US torture)
See excerpt from Democracy Now! January 2005:
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, in this new year, Time magazine for 2004 named President Bush as “Man of the Year,” but Time magazine Canada named Maher Arar, a name hardly known in this country.
MICHAEL RATNER (Center for Constitutional Rights): Maher Arar is our client at the Center, someone who was transiting Kennedy to go back to his Canadian home, Canadian citizen. They pick him up, interrogate him here for ten days, send him to Syria. He is put in an underground torture chamber, is tortured for a number of weeks. Finally released because the Canadian government or some part of the Canadian government that had not cooperated with the United States in this effort got him out. He's back in Canada. There's a public inquiry started. He was the first guy we surfaced ever in one of these outrageous, extraordinary rendition cases. Tortured very badly. As you and I speak, the numbers are probably in the hundreds of people in C.I.A. holes around the world being tortured right now.
Who is Maher Arar? We all know the basic contours of his story. In 2002, U.S. officials detained the Canadian software engineer at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. They alleged that he was linked to al-Qaeda and secretly deported him to Syria, where he says he was tortured. When Arar was freed more than a year later and the public got a glimpse of him, he seemed to be a likable, hard-working family man caught up in a monstrous international screwup. Was there more? Simultaneously, officials, most of them anonymous, were leaking information and dropping hints suggesting that Arar was a security risk with something to hide.
Well, if Arar is a terrorist, he is unlike any other. In contrast to other suspects dispatched to harsh justice, Arar did not vanish into oblivion in his Middle East cell. Nor, after his release, did he recoil from public view. Instead, Arar, who has a modest home in Ottawa, has stepped into the spotlight as a vocal proponent of human rights in Canada, a symbol of how fear and injustice have permeated life in the West since 9/11. To this day, it has not been revealed why Arar was detained. And no one has pushed harder to shed light on his case than Arar. “I have nothing to hide,” he said in late 2003. “I want a public inquiry.”
Be sure to see the stellar Op Ed coverage NYTimes, Bob Herbert, gave to Arar over the years and more items in the Comments here...