Bernanke walks fine line in Congress

Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Meanwhile, the bailout dream team -- Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson -- are pushing Congress on the $700 billion plan. Bernanke will be back on Capitol Hill this morning to talk about the economy in general. John Dimsdale has more.


John Dimsdale: Judging from Chairman Bernanke's comments before the Senate Banking committee yesterday, he's kinda worried about the economy.

Ben Bernanke: The financial markets are in quite fragile condition. Credit is not being provided. This will be a major drag on the U.S. economy and will greatly impede the ability of the economy to recover in a healthy way.

But while he's urging fast action on the rescue plan, the Federal Reserve chairman has to be careful just how dire his economic forecast is, says former Fed Governor Lyle Gramley.

Lyle Gramley: He certainly wants to impress upon them the need for going ahead with his program quickly so we can shore up confidence in financial markets. On the other hand he doesn't want to scare financial markets so badly that more disruption occurs.

Gramley says Bernanke has to press Congress on the urgency of a bailout without further undermining bank confidence that loans will be repaid.

In Washington I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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