After much consideration, TIME Magazine announced that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been names its 2009 Person of the Year. According to TIME managing editor Richard Stengel, Bernanke edged out General Stanley McChyrstal, who heads up the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
While appearing on the TODAY show Wednesday morning, Stengel said Bernanke received the nod because of his key role in "the most powerful, least understood government force shaping our lives."
TIME's choice as Bernanke for man of the year is sure to spark much debate as the chairman is largely unpopular with the general public after his role in helping bail out big Wall Street banks during the financial crisis in late 2008. The same banks that are thought to have caused the crisis to begin with.
However, looking back on some of TIME's choices for its cover, Person of the Year does not automatically designate praise. In the 1930's Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin received the title, while Richard Nixon got the nod in 1971. TIME describes the choice as a person that had the largest influence on news that year.