MID-DAY UPDATE: Bernanke testifies before Congress,
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is delivering his semi-annual testimony on the state of the U.S. economy to the Senate Banking Committee today. Most analysts think that Chairman Bernanke will present the report with "cautious optimism." As gas prices continue to rise due to unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, Bernanke said that higher oil prices won't have much of an effect on the economy recovery. Bernanke is expected to stay the course, because -- according to Juli Niemann, analyst with Smith, Moore & Company -- "you can't argue with success."
Many nations have withdrawn their citizens from Libya as the unrest continues. But while the Libyan economy continues to function at a very basic level, Libya's oil chief says oil production is at half the level it was a few weeks ago. The BBC's Kevin Connolly reports from Benghazi that Libya now has a potential for both humanitarian and economic crises.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that insurance companies cannot take gender into account when charging premiums, including auto and life insurance.