U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was chosen as Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2009 on Wednesday morning.

The Fed chairman was chosen from a list of finalists including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of troops in Afghanistan; and other finalists.

"To me, this was the year that the economy almost died. And Ben Bernanke realized … we cannot commit the mistakes we committed in the past," Time managing editor Richard Stengel explained of the choice on MSNBC.

"He has basically kept the credit markets open," Stengel added. "He saved the financial system, much to people's criticism."

The selection comes as the Senate Banking Committee takes up Bernanke's nomination by President Barack Obama to a second term in charge of the Federal Reserve.

The committee will vote Thursday morning on Bernanke's nomination, though two senators, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), have placed a hold on the Fed chairman's nomination.

He is still seen as likely to win Senate confirmation.

Read Time's "Person of the Year" story here.