Intellectually, Ben S. Bernanke was prepared to tackle the gravest economic crisis since the 1930s as chairman of the Federal Reserve. A Princeton University economics professor, he was an expert on the causes of the Great Depression. He was a practitioner as well as economic historian, serving on the Fed’s Board of Governors and as chairman of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers. Yet in other ways, from dealings with reporters to bankers and members of Congress, there was little that could have prepared Bernanke for the challenges to come. Here are some highlights of his eight-year term, which ends tomorrow:
For Grant Felgenhauer, a money manager whose hedge fund owns $110 million of Iraqi equities, the 15 explosions that reverberated across the country in a single day earlier this month weren’t a reason to stop buying.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki’s self-portrayal as the only viable barrier against a resurgent al-Qaeda has won support from the U.S. and Iran. Critics say he can’t solve the problem because he’s part of it.
More than two years after the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from Iraq, so-called Iraq War Syndrome is alive and well: The U.S. public remains deeply opposed to any U.S. intervention in the Middle East, especially in Iraq. Which only makes what President Barack Obama has to do in Iraq all the more difficult.
Few goods transit the desert border between the Middle East’s two biggest oil producers, and Saudi authorities have built a fence to help ensure that political instability in Iraq doesn’t cross over either.
Faruk Mustafa Rasool first saw a mobile phone in 1998 while he was lying in a London hospital bed recovering from quadruple heart bypass surgery. Ignoring his doctors’ advice to rest, he started figuring out how to bring the device to his native Iraq.