Bernanke Acknowledges Unhappiness On Bailouts

l Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has claimed, ‘I had to hold my nose,’ when he was advocating the 2008 bailouts of the distressed financial services giants, but he says the action was necessary in order to avoid an economic disaster. The Associated Press reports that Bernanke, speaking last night at a Kansas City, Mo., forum coordinated by PBS' ‘The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,’ stated he was furious at the prospect of bailing out the financial services giants. However, he added that there was no feasible alternative to the bailout. ‘Nothing made me more frustrated, more angry, than having to intervene,’ he said. ‘[But] I was not going to be the Federal Reserve chairman who presided over the second Great Depression.’ Bernanke used the forum to advocate keeping consumer protection oversight under the aegis of the Fed. However, he said he had no position on the Obama administration's proposal to create a new agency designed to oversee mortgage and credit card issuances and other loan products. ‘I'm neither opposed to it or in favor or it,’ he said. When asked about the Fed's track record in mortgage-related consumer protection, he acknowledged, ‘We were late in addressing the subprime lending problem.’ SOURCE: Associated


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