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July 19, 2013

The Time Bernanke Got It Wrong

It is amazing that a lot of criticism of the Federal Reserve today focuses on what it clearly got right — the response to the debt crisis in 2008 and thereafter, a response that may well have prevented Great Depression II — and not on what it got wrong: policies that allowed the dangerous imbalances to grow and bring on the crisis.

You could see that this week when Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman, made his semiannual pilgrimage to Capitol Hill to discuss the state of the economy. Lawmakers voiced concern about possibly excessive regulation of banks, but not about the clearly inadequate capital the big banks — and many small ones — had before the crisis.

Some of them seemed to be upset that the Fed’s policies had caused stock prices to rise. Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, seemed to think that all current economic problems could be traced to President Obama’s excessive spending.

He was upset that the ‘Federal Reserve has regrettably, in many ways, enabled this failed economic policy through a program of risky and unprecedented asset purchases.’”

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Read full New York Times article here

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