From the article:
He knew how the passive Fed of the 1930s helped create the calamity — through its stubborn refusal to expand the money supply and its tragic lack of imagination and experimentation.
He wishes Americans understood that he helped save the irresponsible giants of Wall Street only to protect ordinary folks on Main Street.
Basically, Time claims that Bernake's Fed made sure that the inevitable recession was much less worse than it could have been. They site the current unemployment rate of10% to be better than 25%, which suggests that if Bernake had done something different then the unemployment rate would be two and a half times worse.
Really, Time? This is a bold and ironic claim since Fed policy actually created the recession in the first place, and its current policies will ensure future hardships. Please note that history does not confirm Time's assessment, nor is Time's assessment even possible to confirm.
Don't believe me? Read some history on it by an author whose goal is not to support an oligarchical political economy. Bob Murphy's Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal. Of course, you might first want to look at the same author's Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism.
If you wonder why Dr. Murphy's research verifies claims that are not taught in public schools and universities, consider the fact that Murphy's research verifies claims that suggest reducing the power of the organization in charge of dictating what gets taught at public schools and universities.
If you like it, consider reading other economists of the "Austrian School": Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, etc. Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson is another very good start. If you don't want to pick it up from Amazon, then download it free in PDF form here.
Of course, Time hasn't always honored good men with this award. In 1938, they recognized Adolf Hitler as "Man of the Year." However, in fairness to Time, they did not honor Hitler by bestowing upon him the award. They simply recognized him as the most man with the most significant impact on world events,and they identify this impact as unsettling.
In light of this, perhaps Bernake deserves to be recognized as "Person of the Year," but not for the reasons cited by Time.
Second, a terrorist tried to ignite a fire on board a Delta plane en route to Detroit. However, he was foiled by passengers when he ignited his chemical concoction.
The man made it past the TSA inspectors even though he had contraband and the feds had been warned of this man's dangerous inclinations.
So, all of these new powers to the federal government to save us from terrorists, and its the guy in an adjacent seat who stops what could have been a devastating attack on Christmas.
Way to go, federal government! If it hadn't been for all of your powers, regulations, and copious funding...it would have turned out exactly the same way.