Ben Bernanke calls for help to revive the stuttering US economy
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, says the Fed needs help to revive the US economy. But it won’t get any
Saturday 28 August 2010
What did the chairman of the Federal Reserve say in Jackson Hole? According to much of the reaction, Ben Bernanke said the “Fed stands by to boost US growth” (FT), or that the “Fed is ready to prop up economy” (NYT) or even that the “Fed stands ready to support recovery” (WSJ).
In other news, a man was bitten by a dog. And by that I mean: the reverse would actually be news.
Yes, Bernanke said the Fed would act if the economic outlook deteriorated further, or if there were signs of deflation. He doesn’t appear to think that either of those events are likely to occur, especially the deflation, but if they do, the Fed will do stuff. Which is exactly what you’d expect a modern central bank governor to say.
But what was missed was Bernanke’s low-key plea for help – from the government.
Bernanke kicked off his Jackson Hole speech by detailing the problem the US faces, notably: “In many countries, including the United States and most other advanced industrial nations, growth during the past year has been too slow and joblessness remains too high.”