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BUSINESS
July 17, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday that he expected the central bank to start tapering its bond-buying stimulus program this year, but that there was not a "preset course" to doing so. The Fed's plan to begin reducing the purchases "in measured steps" still could change if the economic recovery does not continue to improve as the central bank projects, he said. In testimony prepared for a congressional hearing, Bernanke also warned lawmakers that they could pose the biggest threat to an economic recovery that has been boosted by a rebounding housing market.
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BUSINESS
September 18, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Despite improvement in the labor market over the last year, central bank policymakers were not confident enough yet that the economy could handle a reduction in a key stimulus program to move ahead with a pullback this month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday. "Conditions in the job market today still are far from what all of us would like to see," Bernanke said at a news conference after the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted to continue its bond-buying program at the same pace.
BUSINESS
September 13, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said "grave concern" about the nation's high unemployment rate led the central bank to launch another round of stimulus, and that the aggressive open-ended program underscores a commitment to the economic recovery. "We've seen not enough jobs growth to bring down the unemployment rate, and what we need to see is more progress," Bernanke said. The Fed would continue with its stimulus "until we do," he said. "We're just trying to get the economy moving in the right direction, so we don't stagnate at high levels of unemployment," Bernanke said Thursday at his quarterly news conference, which followed the Fed's announcement of its new stimulus effort.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday that the central bank might gradually ratchet back its stimulus efforts if the labor market continues to improve, before completely pulling the plug on the unprecedented effort. The Fed has said it would continue purchasing $85 billion in bonds until there is substantial improvement in the labor market. Federal Reserve policymakers said Wednesday that moderate economic growth has returned after a slowdown at the end of last year and the employment situation has improved.
BUSINESS
May 28, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- With the Federal Reserve playing an over-sized role in the U.S. economy, Wall Street investors are keenly interested in who will be the central bank's next chairman when Ben S. Bernanke's term expires in January. The Fed's No. 2 official, Janet L. Yellen, long seen as Bernanke's heir apparent, is considered the favorite to succeed him. But an even better-known economist could get the nod from President Obama: Lawrence Summers . Despite a "deep bench" of candidates, Financial Times columnist Edward Luce is betting on Summers, a former Treasury secretary who served as Obama's top economic aide from in 2009 and 2010.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Tuesday that President Obama and Congress must shield the fragile economy from the full brunt of the so-called fiscal cliff or risk another recession just as the recovery is taking hold. Speaking at the New York Economic Club, Bernanke warned that the Fed doesn't have the tools left to offset the one-two punch of significantly higher taxes and sharply reduced government spending set to begin in January. "Coming together to find fiscal solutions will not be easy, but the stakes are high," Bernanke said.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said a sustained rise in prices for oil and other commodities would threaten the economic recovery, but that even with the turmoil in the Middle East he did not expect higher prices would create inflation problems in the United States. "The most likely outcome is that the recent rise in commodity prices will lead to, at most, a temporary and relatively modest increase in U.S. consumer price inflation," Bernanke said in testimony Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Ben S. Bernanke, whose eight-year tenure as Federal Reserve chair ended Sunday, will join the Brookings Institution think tank as a distinguished fellow in residence. The news came Monday as his replacement, Janet L. Yellen, was sworn in as the first woman to lead the powerful U.S. central bank. Bernanke will be affiliated with the new Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Brookings said Monday. PHOTOS: Federal Reserve chairs through the years “His firm, steady hand at the Fed's tiller came at a crucial time in our nation's history, including during the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression," said Strobe Talbott, president of the Washington, D.C., think tank.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2010 | Reuters
The Federal Reserve may try to push borrowing costs even lower if the job market continues to languish, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Thursday, offering a hint of what might trigger additional monetary easing. After three quarters of solid growth, the U.S. economy has been losing steam, with firms still reluctant to hire and the housing sector seemingly unable to exit a prolonged rut. Bernanke's comments accompanied Labor Department data Thursday showing that new claims for state unemployment benefits jumped to 464,000 last week.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank was hoping for the best concerning the European debt crisis but was ready to step in with more forceful action if needed. "We are hoping for the best ... but we are prepared in case things get worse to protect the U.S. economy and the U.S. financial system," Bernanke told reporters Wednesday. He defended the move by the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday to extend a program designed to lower long-term interest rates, a modest step in the face of slowing growth in the U.S. and abroad.
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