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As Time's "Person of the Year," Fed's Bernanke Joins a Long List of Infamous Underachievers

There's a culture in our society that rewards bad behavior. Take the Fort Collins, Colo. couple that pretended to send their 6-year-old boy up in a homemade balloon so the family could star in a reality show?

Well, Time magazine's anointment of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke as its "Person of the Year 2009" is an example of the same thing.

For starters, no other U.S. central bank head has been a "Person of the Year." Not William McChesney Martin Jr. (Fed chairman, 1951-70) who defined monetary policy accurately, saying the Fed's job was "to take away the punchbowl just as the party gets going." Not even Paul A. Volcker (Fed chairman, 1979-87), who bravely pursued a tight-money policy that broke the back of inflation.

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