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Ben Bernanke, US Federal Reserve chairman, said Friday that
the central bank is ready to provide further
support to the weak US economy, but he didn't signal any new imminent measures.
The chairman was speaking
in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the shadow of the majestic Grand Teton
mountains, at the opening session of the annual Fed symposium for central
“With respect to longer-run prospects,
however, my own view is more optimistic,” Bernanke
said in his prepared remarks. “The growth fundamentals
of the United States do not appear to have been permanently altered by the
shocks of the past four years.”
"The Committee will continue to assess
the economic outlook in light of incoming information and is prepared to employ
its tools as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of
price stability," Bernanke said in reference to the
policymaking Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).
Earlier Friday, the Bureau of Economic analysis
reported that the economy grew by an annualised rate of only 1% in April through
June, down from the 1.3% rise that was previously estimated. That was after GDP
increased by just 0.4% in the first quarter.
Bernanke was critical of fiscal policymaking
-- a responsibility of the president and the US Congress.
“The country would be well-served by a
better process for making fiscal decisions,” he said,
noting that the political battle over raising the debt-ceiling had disrupted the
financial markets “and probably the economy as well.”
The chairman suggested a different process,
involving “clear and transparent budget goals, together
with budget mechanisms to establish the credibility of these goals.”
The Fed is operating in a charged political
environment and last week, Rick Perry, Republican governor of Texas and 1988
Texas campaign manager for then Senator Al Gore, a Democrat, issued a stark
warning to Bernanke.
“If this guy prints more money between
now and the election, I don’t know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we
would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas,” Perry said
of the possibility of another round of so-called quantitative easing in the
Bernanke On Way to Give Speech: Ben Bernanke,Federal Reserve chairman, makes his way to give a speech in Jackson Hole. Jean-Claude Trichet, ECB president is on his right:
Bernanke & the Markets: A check on the markets following Bernanke's speech and a look at how Hurricane Irene will impact markets and the economy, with Rod Smyth, Riverfront Investment Group; Robert McTeer, former Dallas Fed president; Joe Kinahan, TD Ameritrade; CNBC's Steve Liesman & Rick Santelli: