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article imageUS Federal Chairman says US economy is 'close to faltering'

By Andrew Reeves     Oct 5, 2011 in Politics
Washington - Ben Bernanke, the US Federal Chairman, testified recently before Congress that the US economic recovery has been slower than previously thought. The Greek debt crisis, political infighting, and sluggish job growth keeps the economy "close to faltering."
In recent testimony before Congress, US Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke claimed that the American economy is "close to faltering," and that a "disorderly" default in the Greek debt crisis would have negative impacts on the US economy and its potential for job growth.
With the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent at the end of August, 2011, the American economy requires as stable and orderly a period of recovery as can be granted to it. Political infighting, such as that witnessed in July over the fight to raise the debt ceiling, does absolutely nothing to improve the chances of economic success, Bernanke argued.
"Monetary policy can be a powerful tool, but it is not a panacea for the problems currently faced by the US economy," he said, reported in the Guardian. "Fostering healthy growth and job creation is a shared responsibility of all economic policymakers."
All in all, Bernanke was less than optimistic for the prospects of future economic recovery than many would have hoped. “The recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than [the Central Bank] had hoped,” he testified. While Bernanke said that "there have been some positive developments," according to The State Column, he revealed that “recent revisions of government economic data show the recession as having been even deeper, and the recovery weaker, than previously estimated.”
Add to this the uncertainty surrounding the ultimate success of the Euro Zone, and the potentially messy debt crisis in Greece, and it could spell "much more serious trouble" for the US economy.
When asked about the Occupy Wall Street protests, now well into their third week and spreading around the country and around the world to Japan, Europe, and Canada, Bernanke stated that "very generally people are quite unhappy about the state of the economy," and with "some justification," according to the Guardian.
"At some level I can't blame them. Nine percent unemployment and slow growth is not a good situation," he said.
From the Guardian:
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont asked Bernanke: "In light of the protests, did Wall Street's greed and recklessness lead to the crisis?"
Bernanke said: "Excessive risk-taking had a lot to do with it." So did the failures of regulators.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release the latest unemployment rate for September this Friday, October 7th. And while The State Column is claiming that roughly 65,000 new jobs have been added in September alone, that it will have little effect on the jobless rate overall.
And the US economic recovery will remain, as Bernanke suggests, unfortunately sluggish.
More about Ben bernanke, US Federal Reserve, US economy, European union, Greece debt crisis
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