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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Banking chiefs welcome Bernanke
Ben Bernanke
Fellow banking chiefs do not expect surprises from Mr Bernanke
Global banking chiefs have continued to welcome the nomination of Ben Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as US Federal Reserve chairman.

If approved, Mr Bernanke is set to take over from Mr Greenspan early next year.

Bank of England governor Mervyn King said Mr Bernanke had the required "intellectual and personal qualities".

The European Central Bank (ECB) described Mr Bernanke as "a highly respected central banker and a remarkable economist".

"I will be happy to have the possibility to develop with him the same fruitful co-operation and enjoy the same confidence and friendly relationship that I had with Alan Greenspan," said ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet.

Strong gains

Mr Bernanke is currently chief economic adviser to the US Government and had been widely tipped to replace Mr Greenspan.

My first priority will be to maintain continuity with the policy and policy strategies under the Greenspan era
Ben Bernanke

Global stock markets rose strongly in early Tuesday trading following strong overnight gains on Wall Street after Monday's announcement.

Japan's Nikkei ended up 174.4 points on Tuesday. European stock markets opened strongly, but then fell back by lunchtime after some disappointing company trading reports.

Mr Bernanke, 51, has been nominated by President George W Bush to take over as chairman of the Fed when Mr Greenspan retires on 31 January.

The appointment needs to get Senate backing, and President Bush has called for swift action to approve the decision.

'Continuity'

During his time at the Fed, 79-year-old Mr Greenspan has steadied markets during financial crises, endorsed budget and tax reform, and led the fight against inflation.

Alan Greenspan
Mr Greenspan is standing down after 18 years in the job

Mr Bernanke has pledged to continue Mr Greenspan's agenda.

"My first priority will be to maintain continuity with the policy and policy strategies under the Greenspan era," he said.

US Treasury Secretary John Snow added the move would continue Mr Greenspan's legacy of independent leadership at the central bank.

"In Ben Bernanke, the President has chosen the right person to carry on the strong, independent leadership of the Fed," Mr Snow said.

Critics are generally favourable of Mr Bernanke's nomination, but some commentators say the Princeton University economist has little experience outside the academic realm, and is too close to President Bush.


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