Bernanke presses Congress on reform
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke just wrapped up a speech on Cape Cod. He was addressing a conference on financial regulation. His speech could be characterized as a call to action. We’re going to check in with Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson. He’s been watching the speech this morning, and he’s with us live at our bureau in New York. Good morning Jeremy.
Jeremy Hobson: Morning Steve.
Chiotakis: So what did the chairman have to say?
Hobson: Well, he was speaking in beautiful Chatham, Mass., but his words were really directed at Congress. He said we’re starting to come out of this crisis and legislators really need to take advantage of our collective memory and enact reforms now while we still care.
BEN BERNANKE: With the financial turmoil abating, now is the time for policy makers to take action to reduce the probability and severity of any future crisis.
Specifically, Steve, he said there should be stronger capital requirements for banks. He reiterated his support for a better focus on consumers and he said Congress needs to create an orderly way to wind down an institution when it’s in trouble.
Chiotakis: Now, Jeremy, every time the Fed Chairman speaks, people wonder whether he’s going to give any indication about interest rates. Did he do any of that?
Hobson: He did not mention interest rates, which as you know are near 0 [percent] now to try to juice lending. He was asked about bank stress tests, which the government conducted earlier this year to make sure banks had enough capital. He was asked are they going to do this again. And he said, no, that was a one-time thing.
Chiotakis: All right, Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson from our Marketplace bureau in New York. Jeremy, thanks.
Hobson: Thank you Steve.