Date
24 July 2017
Ex-Fed chief Ben Bernanke says he is aware of the "revolving door" criticism thrown at former government officials. Photo: Bloomberg
Ex-Fed chief Ben Bernanke says he is aware of the "revolving door" criticism thrown at former government officials. Photo: Bloomberg

Bernanke joins hedge fund Citadel in first job after Fed exit

Former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has joined the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel in his first job since retiring from the government.

The move may fuel criticism of a “revolving door” between the Fed and other government agencies and powerful financial firms, the Financial Times said.

Bernanke said he will work as an adviser on monetary policy, adding his “perspective on a range of issues affecting our global economy”. The former central banker left the Fed in January 2014.

Bernanke told the New York Times that he was sensitive to “revolving door” concerns. He said he chose to work for Citadel, rather than a bank, because it is not regulated by the Fed.

He will not be doing “lobbying of any sort”, he added.

Alan Greenspan, Bernanke’s predecessor as Fed chairman, took up positions including acting as a consultant for Deutsche Bank and hedge fund Paulson & Company after leaving the central bank.

Last month, Jeremy Stein, a former Fed governor, said he would start advising BlueMountain Capital Management, another fund.

In welcoming Bernanke, Ken Griffin, the founder and chief executive of Citadel, said Bernanke has “extraordinary knowledge of the global economy and his insights on monetary policy and the capital markets will be extremely valuable to our team and to our investors”.

The appointment was announced on Thursday, hours before it emerged that Citadel’s head of fixed income, Derek Kaufman, had resigned after suffering US$1 billion of losses in his portfolio of developed market sovereign bonds, the newspaper said. Citadel has about US$26 billion in assets under management.

Since leaving the Fed, Bernanke has gotten on the speaking circuit. His views have been sought by hedge fund managers and other market participants at exclusive dinners and speaking engagements.

He has also been an active blogger, airing his views on monetary policy through his posts at the Washington think tank Brookings Institution.

He also has a written a book on the 2007-2009 financial crisis, published by W.W. Norton, which will come out in autumn, the report said.

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CG

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