Sunday, March 15, 2009

60 Minutes interviews Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

Last week, 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley went on a ride-along with the FDIC when taking over a bank outside of Chicago. This week, he interviews Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and asks the question, "When does this end?" First, from CBSNews.com:

"Mr. Chairman, I'm gonna start with a question that everyone wants me to ask: when does this end?" 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley asked Bernanke.

"It depends a lot on the financial system," he replied. "The lesson of history is that you do not get a sustained economic recovery as long as the financial system is in crisis. We've seen some progress in the financial markets, absolutely. But until we get that stabilized and working normally, we're not gonna see recovery. But we do have a plan. We're working on it. And I do think that we will get it stabilized, and we'll see the recession coming to an end probably this year. We'll see recovery beginning next year. And it will pick up steam over time."

Asked if he thinks the recession is going to end this year, Bernanke said, "In the sense that this decline will begin to moderate and we'll begin to see leveling off. We won't be back to full employment. But we will see, I hope, the end of these declines that have been so strong in a last couple of quarters."

"But you wouldn't say at this point that we're out of the woods?" Pelley asked.

"No," Bernanke replied. "I think the key issue is the banking system and the financial system."

"Unemployment, as we sit here, is about 8.1 percent. I wonder, do you expect double digit unemployment?" Pelley asked.

"Well, it's hard to forecast exactly where we're going. Unemployment is rising. Job losses are still very severe. And no doubt, the unemployment rate's gonna go higher than it is. But I think, again, that if we do succeed in stabilizing the financial system, that we'll begin to see a slower pace of decline, and eventually, a stabilization that will set the basis for a recovery," Bernanke said.

"You seem to be saying that we're not heading into a new American Depression?" Pelley asked.

"I think we've averted that risk. I think we've gotten past that and now the problem is to get the thing working properly again," the chairman said.

The video is in two parts. First, part one:



Next, part two:

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