Though some may not agree with the central bank’s economic policies, there is no denying that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s tenure will be one for the history books. The Georgia-born economist was first appointed as Chairman on February 1, 2006, during a time when the U.S. outlook was quite optimistic. The economic landscape, however, quickly changed during Bernanke’s tenure as the financial crisis began to unfold [see The Fed Effect: How Monetary Policy Impacts Your ETFs].
Considering his expertise in the history of the Great Depression, it was not surprising to see Bernanke quickly steer the central bank towards a highly accommodating policy. Over the years, the Fed rolled out several massive stimulus programs, known as “quantitative easing,” to help the U.S. gain economic traction. But as Bernanke himself had stated, the size and scope of the Great Recession was greatly underestimated, and therefore required the central bank to take measures it had never taken before.
As Bernanke’s tenure as Chairman comes to a close in the coming weeks, many will certainly voice their opinions on how well the Chairman steered one of the most powerful institutions in the world. From a more objective standpoint, however, we take a look at just how well certain corners of the financial market fared during Bernanke’s tenure:
Please note that the following data is based on returns from February 1, 2006 to January 3, 2013.