Senate to weigh Bernanke as Greenspan replacement

Ben Bernanke, who once thought himself an "academic lifer," is poised to take his biggest step yet away from the classroom and toward becoming the most influential economist in the world. President George W. Bush's choice to head the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, after Alan Greenspan retires goes before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to start its way toward Senate confirmation. Bernanke is a former professor at Princeton University and member of the Fed's board of governors who now serves as the top White House economist. He is expected to win the panel's endorsement and get a positive vote in the full Senate.