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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies during a Joint Economic Committee hearing today on Capitol Hill. - 


Kai Ryssdal: Today's speech by Mr. Bernanke had all the earmarks of being another snoozer -- a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation conference on mortgages -- and to give him his due, the Fed chairman stuck to the assigned topic for... oh, about two minutes of his half hour speech.

Then he got to his point: That subprime mess still isn't over with -- ongoing financial turmoil, he called it -- and he said the Fed's going to do something about that with new mortgage rules starting next week.

Ben Bernanke: These new rules, which will apply to all lenders and not just banks, will address some of the problems that have surfaced in recent years in mortgage lending, especially for high cost mortgage lending.

It's those high cost mortgages -- subprime's another way to say it -- that the Fed's going to target, but Bernanke said he's open to cracking down on other parts of the financial industry as well.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal