Time magazine names Fed chief Ben Bernanke ‘Person of the Year’

NEW YORK — U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2009.

This photo released by Time Magazine Wednesday

This photo released by Time Magazine Wednesday

NEW YORK — U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2009.

In choosing Bernanke, 56, Time said Wednesday that he is the most important player guiding the world’s most important economy.

“His creative leadership helped ensure that 2009 was a period of weak recovery rather than catastrophic depression, and he still wields unrivalled power over our money, our jobs, our savings and our national future,” the magazine added.

“The decisions he has made, and those he has yet to make, will shape the path of our prosperity, the direction of our politics and our relationship to the world.”

Last year’s winner was then-president-elect Barack Obama. The 2007 winner was Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Other previous winners have included Bono, president George W. Bush, and Amazon.com CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.

In Canada, the Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney, has also been a key figure in the economy’s recovery as he kept interest rates low and pumped billions of dollars into financial markets during the credit crunch to loosen up bank lending to consumers and companies.

Recently, Carney has begun to warn about rising household debt in Canada and the possibility that rising interest rates in future could squeeze consumers faced with a jump in debt servicing costs on everything from mortgages and consumer loans to credit cards.

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