Ben Bernanke assumed the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve on Feb. 1, 2006. He "came to the job with a refreshiong humility," Roger Lowenstein wrote in The New York Times in 2008. The new chairman wanted to be more of "a plain-speaking technocrat" and less "an oracle" like his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, Lowenstein wrote. Bernanke had served as a Fed governor since August 2002, but had little other experience on the global policy-making stage. Bernanke's tenure got off to a rocky start because of communication issues, and the brewing housing bubble was about to burst.