It can’t have been the send-off that the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, was hoping for, The New York Times reports.

"He’s already stayed a lot longer than he wanted or he was supposed to," President Obama told Charlie Rose in an interview.

Not only did the comment come across as faint praise for a long-serving public servant who guided the nation’s monetary policy through a severe crisis, but its timing could also hardly have been worse.