Friday, August 21, 2009

Bernanke's Optimistic Appraisal

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today that the world economy is starting to emerge from the recession.

I'll take his word for it. I studied economics in college — Arts and Sciences required students to pass two semesters of principles of economics, which I did. But that was not my major.

I suppose that, if I had the answers that would speed things up and get an economic recovery started, I'd occupy a seat on the Fed with Bernanke. But I don't. I guess I'm like most Americans. I just hope that they make the right decisions to keep this country moving in the right direction.

I guess that assumes that we are moving in the right direction. I suppose that is the kind of thing one has to take on faith.

Well, Bernanke sounded hopeful today. "[T]he prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good," he said.

Much of what he said was kind of obvious.

"One very clear lesson of the past year — no surprise, of course, to any student of economic history, but worth noting nonetheless — is that a full–blown financial crisis can exact an enormous toll in both human and economic terms."

Obvious. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are bracing themselves for the loss of their unemployment benefits in the near future. How are those people going to survive? How will they pay for food, clothing and shelter?

"A second lesson — once again, familiar to economic historians — is that financial disruptions do not respect borders. The crisis has been global, with no major country having been immune."

Again, nothing new there.

Well, if you want to read his remarks in full, you can do that here.

On Wall Street, they probably didn't take the time to read everything that Bernanke said. They got that he was sounding a hopeful note, and stocks closed at new highs for 2009.

And home sales set a new record.

All that is good news for the Obama administration, I guess.

But, for millions of Americans, things aren't going to get better until they have a job and a paycheck.

Until then, health care reform really doesn't matter much, does it?

1 comment:

Healthy Weight Loss said...

It's about time. The global financial crisis has dragged on for too long.