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February 26, 2010 | By Don Lee
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke revealed Thursday that the central bank was examining financial deals that Goldman Sachs and other banking companies made with Greece before its debt crisis erupted, creating potentially more public relations troubles for Wall Street firms. "We are looking into a number of questions relating to Goldman Sachs and other companies and their derivatives arrangements with Greece," Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee on the second day of the Fed's semiannual report to Congress on the nation's economy and monetary policy.
December 3, 2009 | By Don Lee
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may be heavily favored to win Senate confirmation for a second term, but he faces a far tougher challenge in trying to beat back efforts by angry lawmakers to curb the Fed's independence as an arbiter of economic policy. The anger, which is likely to boil up today at Bernanke's confirmation hearing, arises from the Fed's widely acknowledged failure to curb the excessive risk-taking and other financial behavior that helped precipitate the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
June 18, 2006
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke decided to stick his foot in the bear's mouth, providing the last thing the market needed from him: alarmist comments and poor choices of words ("Dow Dives 199 on Rate, Energy Fears," June 6). True, Bernanke is new in his role. True, Alan Greenspan, his predecessor, perfected his calming rhetoric and uncanny ability to refrain from being specific during nearly 20 years at the helm. But Bernanke seemed to go out of his way to share his anxiety about inflation pressures and confirm the Fed's intended "vigilance" to ensure that inflation doesn't stick.
December 4, 2009 | By Don Lee
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Thursday defended the central bank's record and argued for preserving its regulatory powers, but lawmakers in both parties were unmoved as they lobbed sharp criticisms at him and the Fed for lapses that contributed to the financial crisis. Bernanke is widely expected to win a second term as chairman, but the confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee provided new evidence of the intense resentment in Congress over what is seen as the Fed's failure to tighten credit and curb financial risk-taking in time to avert the worst economic downturn since the 1930s.
March 18, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told lawmakers Wednesday that regulatory failures by the central bank helped trigger the financial crisis, but that doesn't mean they should strip the agency of much or all of its oversight of individual banks. The Fed has been under intense fire for not heading off the meltdown of the housing and financial markets. The criticism has been particularly harsh in Congress, where lawmakers are considering a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations that would curtail the central bank's role in bank supervision.
January 24, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, whose reconfirmation has become surprisingly jeopardized, received a bipartisan boost Saturday from two key senators who reiterated their support for him and predicted he would win a second four-year term. Senate banking committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who also serves on the committee, took the unusual step of issuing a weekend statement on Bernanke's behalf. The move came a day after two Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer of California and Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, announced their opposition to Bernanke's renomination as head of the central bank, fueling speculation that his confirmation could be scuttled.
February 10, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera
A snowstorm Wednesday didn't keep Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke from outlining to lawmakers how the central bank might pull back its unprecedented intervention in the U.S. economy. But how exactly the long-awaited exit strategy would be deployed was obscured in a blizzard of ambiguities. "Although at present the U.S. economy continues to require the support of highly accommodative monetary policies, at some point the Federal Reserve will need to tighten financial conditions by raising short-term interest rates and reducing the quantity of bank reserves outstanding," Bernanke wrote in prepared testimony for a hearing Wednesday by the House Financial Services Committee.
October 16, 2010 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, citing the threat of prolonged high unemployment and an economy potentially falling into a dangerous deflationary spiral, laid out a case Friday for the central bank to buy more U.S. government bonds in a bid to bolster growth. But in a much-anticipated speech in Boston, Bernanke also made it clear that there were long-term risks ? for the economy and the Fed's credibility ? in cranking up the electronic printing press and pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial system.
June 20, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
A House panel has subpoenaed documents that lawmakers say could shed new light on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's role in Bank of America Corp.'s acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. The subpoena comes before a hearing next week in which Bernanke is scheduled to testify. Lawmakers have accused Bernanke and President Bush's Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson, of pressuring Bank of America Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis into the deal and urging him to keep quiet about Merrill's financial problems.
June 10, 2010 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Wednesday said he expected the country's economic recovery to remain on track despite Europe's debt crisis. But he indicated at a congressional hearing that U.S. growth was unlikely to be fast enough to produce enough new jobs to make a sizable dent in the high unemployment rate anytime soon. Although hiring prospects have improved, Bernanke said, "a significant amount of time will be required to restore the nearly 8.5 million jobs that were lost in 2008 and 2009."
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