July 21st, 2009
03:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Bernanke: Economy better, but ...

Bernanke told lawmakers Tuesday that the economy has started to show signs of stabilization.
Bernanke told lawmakers Tuesday that the economy has started to show signs of stabilization.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers Tuesday that the economy has started to show signs of stabilization, although he cautioned that improvement is uncertain and likely to be gradual going forward.

Bernanke also reiterated that the Fed will be able to keep inflation at bay by unwinding many of the various lending programs it has put in place to encourage banks to start lending again. But he declined to give a time frame for when the Fed might begin its so-called exit strategy.

The head of the central bank, appearing before the House Financial Services Committee in his semi-annual testimony on the state of the economy, forecast a relatively sluggish recovery.

Bernanke said the unemployment rate would be higher than preferred levels until at least 2012. But he added that steps taken by the Fed to pump money into the economy have started to pay benefits.

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Filed under: Ben Bernanke • Economy
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Bernanke just needs to keep this inflation under control. The market is stabilizing.

    July 21, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Steph

    Hmmm...I haven't heard too many right wing crazies commenting on the stock market plunge President Obama has caused. Maybe its because of the current rally on the market and the fact that the stock market is higher than it was when your friend W left office.

    Yes we can. Yes we did. Yes we will continue to move this country forward. And, yes, the GnoP can continue kicking and screaming like over-tired toddlers if they want.

    July 21, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Josh

    It is believable. I am willing to be patient. This is going to take time.

    July 21, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Proud Member..Party of No

    There is nothing he will be able to do to stop the inevitable inflation that is coming due to Obama's policies. If you think things are bad now, the worst is yet to come. We'll be feeling the impact of this miserable president for years to come.

    July 21, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    Economy better, but Obama still in office and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid still run congress. Therefore, long term survivability of US economy still in doubt.

    Invest overseas.

    July 21, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. LacrosseMom

    Watched Bernake a few months ago, on 60 Minutes, he said that this is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. No kidding!

    President Obama has been in office since January 20th, SEVEN MONTHS! That's hardly enough time to solve the Bush Disaster!

    We all need to remember that the economy is not FAST FOOD, we don't say "recover" and ....... viola....... recovery! There were some huge mistake made, beginning with BUSH ignoring the warnings from economists foretelling the impending housing bubble, the banking industries troubles and Wall Streets excesses!

    Now..... we, the People, are paying for Bush's lack of wisdom and President Obama is being blamed for not waving a 'magic wand' and making it all better!

    Today on CNBC, they were talking about the rally of the last week; they were talking about how the BULLS are confident that the SIGNS we are seeing are the standard bearers of the ........ RECOVERY!

    We've been here before, America, DO NOT PANIC......... BELIEVE WE CAN & WE WILL.......... RECOVER!

    July 21, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Mississippi Mike

    It's better than it was but it's not going to get back to where it was before Obama. Yeah, we get it.

    July 21, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Dean

    How can he "unwind" many of the various lending programs it has put in place to encourage banks to start lending again when in fact the banks have not started lending again. They just took their stimulus money and used it to boost their profits and kept right on sticking it to their customers.

    When China and others quit buying our ever deepening debt the interest rates will have to rise to entice them to continue to finance our deficit, regardless of what our banks do.

    July 21, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Gary SC

    It amazes me how the Republicans can see into the future but can't seem to remember the past.

    July 21, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Dean

    LacrosseMom July 21st, 2009 4:02 pm ET

    Watched Bernake a few months ago, on 60 Minutes, he said that this is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. No kidding!

    President Obama has been in office since January 20th, SEVEN MONTHS! That's hardly enough time to solve the Bush Disaster!

    Mom please do some research into the changes Clinton instituted and their effect on the housing market and regulations and economy. Bush may not have been great but others shared greatly in our financial mess.

    July 21, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. guy

    I thought he was in jail for being involved in the big scam

    July 21, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Jimmy the Greek

    Quote:

    "Bernanke also reiterated that the Fed will be able to keep inflation at bay by unwinding many of the various lending programs it has put in place to encourage banks to start lending again. "

    ______________

    Obama NOT telling the banks what to do????

    BWAHHAAAAA HAA HAAA HAAAA

    Good one, Ben.

    Next we'll hear Al Sharpton has stopped race-baiting, Rev Wright "hearts" Israel, and democrats took time to actually READ a bill before it was passed.

    July 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Obama only creates TAXES

    Better for who, those guys who work for Obama. Thats about normal, liers who work for a lieing Obama are doing good, but the rest of America is doing lousy because WASHINGTON LIES TO THE PEOPLE.

    July 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Good/Bad

    Thats the funniest part Steph notice how every time there has been the slightest drop in the Stock market you get posts on here repeatedly about how obama has ruined everything with postings of the current Dow numbers. Yet about 80% of the time by the close of the stock market those numbers are completely different and in several cases have actually gone positive by the end of the day having started out negative. A day fluctuation on the stock market means absolutely nothing even in good times the stock market can and will see daily fluctuations that go down. Its the actual trend the stock market is taking that is important not a single day fluctuation.

    Also Dutch he doesn't want to clamp inflation to hard right now or cause it to get worse. If he actually strengthens the dollar too much now whats going to happen is the companies that are actually starting to repost profits are the major ones and you can garuntee that they are getting a good chunk of that from favorable overseas sales. You strength the dollar right now and you end up harming those companies and damaging the current stabalization.

    July 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Steph

    Mississippi Mike,
    Better than before Obama?!?! Do you have enough brain cells to remember the last quarter of 2008? The economy was in a total free fall!

    Oh, I'm sorry. It must be very , very hard for you to admit you were wrong.

    July 21, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Predicta

    I seem to remember that the economy was pretty robust for 6 of those 8 years. I also remember the leadership Bush provided after 911 and that the economy, rather than tank then, kept on going, based primarily on Bush's economic policies of tax cuts.

    July 21, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Ben,
    If the economy is better, then why is my son still looking for work for the past 7 months after the company he worked for filed bankruptcy. It's only better for those that have jobs or have been able to keep the ones they already have.

    July 21, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    ...but...the GOPers will claim the following:

    It would've fixed itself because the economy is magic.

    A war economy would have been a better idea than a Stimulus Plan....after all, Hitler fixed the Great Depression.

    It's all soshulizm and fashizm at the same time (two diametrically opposed concepts).

    Bernanke doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to the economy, but Rush Limbaugh does..."here, let me repeat verbatim everything St. Limbaugh has said for the past two weeks that I have uncritically internalized, thereby causing myself daily encephaloaneurisms."

    July 21, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Randolph Carter

    Mississippi Mike wrote:
    It's better than it was but it's not going to get back to where it was before Obama. Yeah, we get it.

    That's because before Obama, all that "prosperity" we had was completely artificial. It was based on shady imaginary financial products and not on anything of real value. Just like the S&L scandal, just like the dot com bust and just like the green industry bust which will occur in about 10 years. Goldman Sachs and their ilk are master manipulators. Funny how their profits are pretty healthy these days. Have a nice day!

    July 21, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. markatl

    With the reckless spending and ridicules tax cuts – Bush turned the growing Economy into “Great depression”…he turned the biggest surplus in history into biggest DEFICIT in US history…it took him 8 yrs of hard work on destroying our economy with full support of right wing nuts who applauded to the DEFICIT.
    Now 6 months into the job Obama already improved all Economic indicators, with employment lagging but as anticipated, all while cutting the tax for middle class…and suddenly right wing nuts are complaining about DEFICIT. It is laughable what is going to happen to GOP as Economy improves…right wing nuts are scared of Economic Recovery – because American people remember who was working on recovery and who was saying NO to recovery!

    July 21, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Osama B Laden

    You Americans invited the fox to live in the hen house, and still hoping for more free eggs??

    Laughing loudly!!

    Your president bush tried to wage war but had to keep spending money to keep his opponents happy. Your new president continues the wars AND much more spending.

    When the bleeding stops – the great beast will be slain. And those around the world will be astonished as the cause of death will have been an internal cancer: liberalism.

    July 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Cali J

    Lacrossemom you are starting to make me sick with your constant Bush did this and Bush did that and Obama is not responsible for any of it. Listen closely
    The Democrats have had both houses for 3 years now. Think back as to when all of this downturn started. Bush's first six years in office was the greastest growth and economy this country has ever seen including Clinton years.
    Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (both Dems) are responsible for much of these problems on their own. Obama won the election because people thought he would be smarter than McCain on the economy. The Dems wanted this economy to get him elected. Now they can't fix it. The economy will come back someday just like it always has, but not because of Obama or his policies. The effects of what Obama has spent in 7 months and now he wants to spend more will have a negitive effect of our recovery for years to come. Stop the Obama campaigning, get you facts right, and start acting like a concerned American instead of an Obama campaigner. Wake UP!

    July 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. tennisguypitt

    As the saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day."

    Meaning this took years to screw up, and it will take years to fix.

    July 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. Marc

    Proud Member..Party of No – July 21st, 2009 3:58 pm ET
    The USA... no, the whole WORLD is ALREADY feeling the impact of a miserable president and guess what, it will take a while for the 'feeling' ends.
    Get real, NO economist that wants to be respected today or in ten years is saying that the handling of the crisis by the previous (in its final months) and the current presidency are wrong.
    Costly? Yes, but necessary nonethless.

    Mississippi Mike – July 21st, 2009 4:07 pm ET
    As usual, you get it wrong...

    phoenix86 – July 21st, 2009 4:00 pm ET
    Since you are giving a dubious dual statement, could you please explain why the presence of the people who are WORKING to get the US out of the mess, created by the rampant greed of the previous years in Wall Street & Co., that we are living in and (by your own words) are achieving their goal can be a proof of 'long term survivability of US economy still in doubt'?

    July 21, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Henry Miller

    And just why should anyone believe Ben Bernanke? The organisation he runs does everything in secret–he could be lying through his teeth and we'd have no way of knowing.

    We need S. 604 and H.R. 1207 passed–it's the only way we'll ever know for sure whether Bernanke's telling the truth. And, until then, it's safer to assume he's lying.

    July 21, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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