September 15, 2009

Bernanke pegs recession as likely over

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in Wyoming Tuesday said the nearly two-year long recession in the United States was winding down.

Since we last met here, the world has been through the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression, Bernanke said at an annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The crisis in turn sparked a deep global recession, from which we are only now beginning to emerge, he said.

Later, answering questions, Bernanke said the recession is very likely over at this point, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Bernanke, similar to recent remarks by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, said the outcome of the crisis could have been decidedly worse had U.S. and foreign policymakers not reacted forcefully to the financial system's slide a year ago.

Without these speedy and forceful actions, last October's panic would likely have continued to intensify, he said.

Bernanke's remarks were made a year to the day after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, an event often cited as part symbol and part catalyst to the financial crisis.