Ben Bernanke

post lehman brothers

2008: chairman, Federal Reserve

President George W. Bush appointed Bernanke as Fed chair in February 2006. At the time, the housing bubble was still inflating but it wouldn't be long before financial firms and the overall economy started to lose steam.

A scholar of the Great Depression, Bernanke is known for his unprecedented intervention in the private sector. Bernanke was one of the key architects behind TARP, which injected government funds into banks. Bernanke, along with Geithner and Paulson, also played a central role in helping to assist the series of bank mergers throughout 2008.

2013: chairman, Federal Reserve

After two terms as the head of the central bank, Bernanke is widely expected to step down at the end of the year. Although he has been criticized by some for keeping crisis-era monetary policies in place for far too long, he is still viewed favorably by many investors as the man who helped save the economy from another depression.

First published September 17, 2013: 2:37 PM ET

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