WASHINGTON Jan 30 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke departs the U.S. central bank on Friday after eight
largely turbulent years in which he guided the economy through
the most virulent financial crisis and recession since the Great
Following is a look at Bernanke's two four-year terms in
Oct. 24, 2005 - President George W. Bush nominates Bernanke
to be Fed chairman. Bernanke is confirmed by the Senate on Jan.
31, 2006, and sworn in the following day.
Aug. 17, 2007 - Fed cuts discount rate it charges banks for
emergency loans to ease growing strains in financial markets.
Nov. 14, 2007 - Fed announces it will increase frequency of
its economic forecasts in an effort to improve transparency.
December 2007 - U.S. economy slips into recession.
Dec. 12, 2007 - Fed launches Term Auction Facility to
encourage borrowing by banks hesitant to borrow at its discount
window. It was the first of several crisis-era programs the Fed
would launch to keep money flowing through the economy.
March 11, 2008 - Fed invokes emergency powers to launch $200
billion facility to loan Treasury securities to bond dealers
against a broad range of collateral, including home mortgages.
The Fed would invoke emergency powers multiple times during the
crisis to launch new lending facilities.
March 14, 2008 - Fed provides emergency financing to Bear
Stearns through JPMorgan, the first bailout of a broker since
the Great Depression.
March 16, 2008 - Bear Stearns collapses and JPMorgan agrees
to buy it with $30 billion in backing from the New York Federal
Reserve Bank. Fed launches Primary Dealer Credit Facility for
Sept. 7, 2008 - U.S. government takes over mortgage finance
firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Sept. 14, 2008 - Bank of America buys Merrill Lynch for
about $50 billion.
Sept. 15, 2008 - Lehman Brothers becomes the largest firm in
U.S. history to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the Fed and
Treasury decide not to bail it out.
Sept. 16, 2008 - Fed lends $85 billion to insurer American
International Group to prevent its bankruptcy.
Sept. 19, 2008 - Fed begins Asset-Backed Commercial Paper
Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility to foster liquidity
in the ABCP market and money markets in general.
Sept. 21, 2008 - Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs become
bank holding companies, gaining access to Fed's discount window.
Sept. 23, 2008 - Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry
Paulson urge Congress to approve $700 billion financial bailout
Sept. 29, 2008 - Dow Jones industrial average drops 778
points, its largest ever one-day decline, after the House of
Representatives fails to pass bailout bill. The Senate passes
the bill on Oct. 1 and the House takes it up again on Oct. 3 and
Oct. 8, 2008 - Fed, European Central Bank and the central
banks of Canada, Britain, Switzerland and Sweden coordinate a
global interest rate cut.
Oct. 21, 2008 - Fed announces $600 billion facility to help
money markets purchase certificates of deposits and commercial
Oct. 27, 2008 - Fed expands support of commercial paper
market with creation of a temporary Commercial Paper Funding
Facility to extend liquidity to non-bank issuers of the paper.
Nov. 23, 2008 - Fed, Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance
Corp bail out Citigroup by backing $306 billion in loans and
acquiring preferred shares in the bank.
Nov. 25, 2008 - Fed launches first round of quantitative
easing, or QE1, with plans to buy up to $500 billion in
mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and $100 billion in housing
Dec. 16, 2008 - Fed cuts overnight federal funds rate to
between zero and 0.25 percent.
Jan. 16, 2009 - Fed, Treasury and FDIC bail out Bank of
America by backing some $118 billion in loans and acquiring
stock in the bank.
Feb. 18, 2009 - Fed policymakers add longer-run projections
for GDP, unemployment and inflation to their quarterly
forecasts, a move seen as effectively establishing informal
March 15, 2009 - In interview on CBS's 60 Minutes, Bernanke
says he sees "green shoots" of economic revival. It is the first
television interview by a sitting Fed chairman in 20 years.
March 18, 2009 - Fed announces it will expand QE1 with
additional $750 billion in MBS, $100 billion in housing agency
debt and $300 billion in Treasury securities. It also vows for
first time to hold short-term rates near zero "for an extended
June 2009 - U.S. economic recession ends. The 18-month
downturn was the longest and deepest since the Great Depression.
August 2009 - President Barack Obama nominates Bernanke for
October 2009 - U.S. unemployment rate peaks at 10 percent,
its highest since 1983.
Jan. 28, 2010 - Senate confirms Bernanke for second term.
The 70-30 vote is the weakest endorsement of a chairman in the
Fed's 96-year history.
Nov. 3, 2010 - Fed announces second round of quantitative
easing, or QE2, totaling $600 billion in longer-term Treasury
April 27, 2011 - Bernanke holds Fed's first post-meeting
Aug. 29, 2011 - Fed says plans to keep rates near zero until
Sept. 21, 2011 - Fed announces "Operation Twist," a plan to
exchange $400 billion of short-term Treasury bonds on its
balance sheet for long-term bonds in an attempt to lower
longer-term interest rates.
Jan. 25, 2012 - Fed adopts inflation target, setting 2
percent as the goal. It also says it expects to keep rates near
zero through late 2014 and begins publishing policymakers'
projections of when they think federal funds rate should rise.
Sept. 13, 2012 - Fed announces third round of quantitative
easing, or QE3. It starts by purchasing $40 billion in
mortgage-backed securities per month and says it will continue
to reinvest principal payments from its holdings.
Dec. 12, 2012 - With Operation Twist expiring at year end,
Fed expands QE3 by adding purchases of $45 billion of
longer-term Treasuries per month. It also says it expects rates
near zero would be appropriate as long as the jobless rate is
above 6.5 percent and inflation does not threaten to top 2.5
June 19, 2013 - Bernanke says Fed expects to begin to wind
down QE3 by year end and bring it to full halt by mid-2014.
Sept. 18, 2013 - Bernanke says the U.S. economy is not yet
strong enough to begin reducing the bond buying, confounding
markets which had been betting on a decision to taper the
Oct. 9, 2013 - Obama nominates Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen
to replace Bernanke.
Dec. 18, 2013 - Fed announces plan to reduce monthly bond
buying to $75 billion from $85 billion. Bernanke says Fed would
likely continue to cut the program at a "measured" pace through
2014, winding it down completely by late in the year.
Jan. 29, 2014 - Fed decides to further reduce its monthly
bond purchases by $10 billion, to $65 billion. Bernanke adjourns
his last policy-setting meeting without making any changes to
the central bank's other main policy plank: a longer-term plan
to keep interest rates low for some time to come.