Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Time Magazine's Man of the Year, 2009

I don't think I was expecting this announcement until Sunday, but Time Magazine has announced its Newsmaker of the Year (formerly the "Man of the Year") for 2009. It's none other than Ben Bernanke, the Chair of the US Federal Reserve; and by coincidence the announcement was made the same day that the Fed announced it's holding the line on interest rates banks charge each other (0 to ¼%).
Sorry, I just don't buy it; there are other people more worthy (such as Vaclav Klaus who held up the EU in the palm of his hands for nearly eleven months this year while stalling on signing the Lisbon Treaty until the last possible minute) -- but the criteria is the one who for better or for worse shaped the events of the last twelve months, and from the perspective of both progressives and conservatives Bernanke did so for much the worse. Joining the company of Vladimir Putin, Deng Xiaoping (twice), Ayatollah Khomeni, Joseph Stalin and Wallis Simpson as other villians deemed worthy of the prize must be a real honour.

The other four finalists, according to the once venerable magazine, are Gen. Stanley McChrystal, "the Chinese Worker," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and athlete Usain Bolt. Of the five, I would have picked Bolt, quite frankly. Bet the editors are happy Tiger Woods didn't make their short list!

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