The Brookings Institution’s Douglas Elliott offers six reasons for the Senate to reject Ben Bernanke’s bid for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman and six reasons to confirm him. We’ll give you the reasons, and you can click through to see where Brookings comes out (though you can probably guess).

Reasons to reject:

  • The bubble. Bernanke was Fed Chairman as the bubble grew towards its most inflated point.
  • Bank supervision. The Fed and other agencies failed as bank regulators during the bubble and early days of the crisis.
  • Consumer protection. The Fed didn’t take action against some of the worst products and lenders associated with subprime mortgages in a timely way.
  • Bailouts. Rescues were needed to avoid a far worse recession, but mistakes were made in bailouts, especially AIG’s.
  • Turf warfare. The Fed is fighting with other regulators to preserve its own power at the wrong time.
  • Inflation. The Fed might have pumped too much money into the economy, which could lead to serious inflation.

Reasons to confirm:

  • Saving the world. Bernanke “initiated an extraordinary series of unprecedented policy responses” to stem the crisis and they worked.
  • Common mistakes; uncommon boldness. Bernanke’s errors were shared by many, making them somewhat more forgivable.
  • Expertise. We aren’t out of the woods and Bernanke’s Depression expertise could be needed.
  • Exit strategies. Bernanke is intimately familiar with the programs put in place over the past year and knows better than others how to unwind them.
  • Don’t switch horses. Changing Fed chairmen at this point in the crisis/recovery “would be perilous, and we ought to give the incumbent a strong benefit of the doubt.”
  • Personal characteristics. “His focus seems to be primarily on advancing the general good; it does not feel as if power or money were the main drivers of his ambition.”
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