President Bush has nominated Ben Bernanke to be the new Federal Reserve Board chairman, replacing Alan Greenspan.The nominee is a former economics professor who served as a Fed governor for three years before taking a job in the White House this summer. During his first major speech as head of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, Mr. Bernanke downplayed concerns about the potential of a housing bubble. The former Princeton University professor said during an American Enterprise Institute seminar in July that the housing market is benefiting from historically low mortgage rates, population and jobs growth, and limited supply of land. "While speculative behavior has certainly surfaced in a few markets, it is important to keep in mind that there are also very strong economic fundamentals in play in the housing market," Mr. Bernanke said. He stressed that a "very strong correlation" exists between rising house prices and job growth. "And it indicates there is an economic basis for much of the strength in the housing market," Mr. Bernanke told the AEI seminar.

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