NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - How much clearer can Ben Bernanke be?
Since February, the Federal Reserve Chairman has issued a stern warning to Congress: if it fails to raise the U.S. debt ceiling by Aug. 2, the economic fallout could be "catastrophic," "self defeating" and "dire."
And yet, here we are in mid-July, with the country only three weeks away from a possible default, and Bernanke is repeating his warning yet again - this time in his semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recent Standard and Poor's warning about the U.S. credit rating should be “one more incentive” for President Obama and Congress to address the problem of long-term debt that currently faces the country.
The ratings agency warned that without action to reduce debt, the nation’s top rating could potentially be downgraded. In a new effort by the Federal Reserve to be more transparent, he told reporters that this debt is the “most important longer term problem the U.S. faces.” He said it is the “highest importance” for the nation’s political leaders to “address this as soon and as effectively as possible.” Jessica Yellin has more on what he had to say.
New York (CNNMoney) - The U.S. economic recovery is finally getting stronger, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday morning.
Bernanke, in remarks prepared for testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, said there is increased evidence that a self-sustaining recovery in consumer and business spending may be taking hold.FULL STORY
(CNN) - A Wall Street Journal reporter is hitting back after former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took to Facebook to blast his criticism of her recent speech on U.S. monetary policy, saying Palin's "view is not supported by the facts."
The tiff began after economics reporter Sudeep Reddy criticized Palin's keynote speech at the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) trade show in Phoenix on Monday in a post on the Wall Street Journal's 'Real Time Economics' blog.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday the U.S. economy has stabilized, but that the nation has a long and bumpy ride ahead to a complete economic recovery.
Speaking to politicians attending the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Charleston, S.C., Bernanke said the nation's economy is growing at a "moderate" pace, but has a "considerable way to go to achieve a full recovery."
The Fed chief also focused on the way that the downturn has taken a severe toll on state and local budgets, forcing them to make significant cuts that are in part to blame for the sluggishness of the national recovery.
Washington (CNN) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is warning Congress that the economic outlook remains "unusually uncertain," although he says the Fed is planning for the ultimate withdrawal of the substantial funds it has injected into the financial system since the onset of the economic crisis in 2008.
After Bernanke's statement before a Senate committee Wednesday, stocks turned sharply lower, with the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 100 points.
In prepared testimony for the Fed's semiannual report on monetary policy, Bernanke emphasizes more than once that economic conditions are likely to keep its short-term interest rates at "exceptionally low levels ... for an extended period," explaining that inflation is likely to remain low for several years. At the same time, he offered the most extensive look yet at the Fed's plans and options for pulling money out of the system and raising short-term rates, as the economy improves.
Washington (CNNMoney.com) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says he expects a continuing economic recovery – "but it won't feel terrific."
In an interview at a forum late Monday in Washington, Bernanke dodged a question about whether he fears a double-dip recession, saying "nobody knows with any certainty."
"But there seems to be a good bit of momentum in consumer spending and investment, so my best guess is that we'll have a continued recovery," Bernanke told veteran TV journalist Sam Donaldson. "The reason it won't feel terrific is because it's not going to be fast enough to put back 8 million people who lost their jobs within a few years. It's going to take a while."
He warned the unemployment rate will remain high "for a while," explaining, "that means that a lot of people are going to be under financial stress."
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday the central bank is working to increase oversight of financial institutions, even as Congress debates a package of Wall Street reforms.
In a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Bernanke said he "supports" ongoing efforts in Congress to reform financial regulation. But he added that the Fed is already taking steps to tighten up oversight of the banking system.
"While these legislative steps are necessary, we are not waiting to implement improvements that can be accomplished within our existing authority," he said.
"Now we are working with banks to ensure they improve their risk-measurement and risk management as well as strengthen their liquidity and capital levels while also providing the credit that households and businesses need," the Fed chairman added.
Bernanke said any reform package should give regulators the power to break up financial institutions that could threaten the economy if they fail.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Policymakers must put in place a credible plan to bring federal spending in line with revenue sooner rather than later to close the "unsustainable fiscal gap" that threatens the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday.
Bernanke delivered his message to President Obama's 18-member bipartisan debt commission, which is holding its first of many meetings that will take place over seven months.
"The path forward contains many difficult tradeoffs and choices, but postponing those choices and failing to put the nation's finances on a sustainable long-run trajectory would ultimately do great damage to our economy," Bernanke said.
Obama echoed that sentiment in comments made at the White House before the meeting began. The present fiscal situation, he noted, "will require that we put politics aside - that we think more about the next generation than the next election. There is no other way."
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated on Saturday that the central bank should retain power over banks of all sizes. (Getty Images)
New York (CNNMoney.com) - As Congress considers limiting the Federal Reserve's regulatory authority to just the country's largest bank holding companies, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated on Saturday that the central bank should retain power over banks of all sizes.
"Because of the remarkable diversity of the U.S. financial system, a supervisory agency that focused only on the largest banking institutions, without knowledge of community banks, would get a limited and potentially distorted picture of what was happening in our banking system as a whole," Bernanke said in a speech to the Independent Community Bankers of America.
The talk echoed points Bernanke has made in several previous speeches, when he has argued that the supervision of small banks helps the Federal Reserve monitor the pulse of the "continent-spanning, highly varied" economy.