TEXT OF INTERVIEW
BOB MOON: It’s a brightening outlook, relative to what it’s been, but the jobs picture is still far from beautiful. New unemployment benefit claims fell sharply in the last week — down by 31,000 — but they remain much higher than normal. Joining us live now is Diane Lim Rogers — an economist with the nonpartisan think-tank the Concord Coalition. Good morning, and just how significant do you think this let-up in jobless claims is? First decline in four weeks, right?
DIANE LIM ROGERS: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s good news. But we’re certainly not out of the woods. I think we should be hopeful that we’re not going to go into a double-dip recession, but the recovery is still going to be very, very slow because this is a very stubborn labor market this time.
MOON: Now Ben Bernanke speaks tomorrow in Jackson Hole about the Fed’s outlook and the Washington Post calls this his most important speech since the end of the financial crisis. Do you think so, and what could he say to reassure you that he’s on top of it?
LIM ROGERS: Well I don’t know it being the most important speech he’s ever made, but it’s a very crucial one. I think there’s a desperate need in the country now to restore confidence both for households and for businesses. And I think what Bernanke needs to do is similar to what President Obama actually needs to do with fiscal policy and that is to signal that he is in charge, that he knows of all the best monetary policy tools to pull out, and that it will be something different from what they’ve done in the past because I think what Americans need to know is that there’s going to be change — not just an effort, but something different from what we’ve already seen in terms of both monetary policy and fiscal policy.
MOON: We could use some clear signals. Diane Lim Rogers is an economist with the Concord Coalition and blogs at EconomistMom.com. Thanks for your insights.
LIM ROGERS: Thank you, Bob.
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