What was Fed chairman’s message?

Matt Wagner, SBJ ReporterIn a taped interview aired Sunday night, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that the recession would “probably” end this year if the federal government’s efforts to reinforce the country’s banking system are successful.

Color me cynical, but I didn’t find Bernanke’s comments particularly newsworthy – or reassuring, for that matter.

I could “probably” be a millionaire if I’m successful at winning the Powerball by year’s end, but don’t count on it. My chances would certainly improve if I had millions of taxpayer dollars to invest in lottery tickets, but the odds are still against me.

The truth is that no one knows when the recession will end. We do, however, have a pretty good idea how we got here.

Bernanke acknowledged that the Fed could have done a better job regulating banks prior to the collapse, but he also said the “biggest risk” facing the U.S. economy is a lack of “political will” to solve the country’s financial crisis.

So in summary: Poor oversight minus political will equals scary times. And that’s not hyperbole.

Bernanke told “60 Minutes” that the world was “very close” to a financial meltdown before the government began bailing out the biggest players last fall. He says those massive financial institutions are now “solvent.”

Anyone else detecting some mixed messages here? Tell The Fine Print* what you think about Bernanke’s assessment.

2 Responses to “What was Fed chairman’s message?”


  1. 1 Dennis Wiggins March 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    We needed someone to say something positive.
    There has been WAY too much gloom & doom by the media. That seems to be the main focus everywhere you turn. TV, radio & print.
    It’s somewhat refreshing to hear something that sounds positive for a change. No one ever said it would be easy. We have to make sound decisons when times are good & we can’t stop we things get tough.

  2. 2 Frank Shipe March 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Bernanke has a longstanding reputation for being temperate in his observations, and there are some “ifs” in this one. I take his remarks as cause for some optimism.


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