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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Bernanke assumes role of very measured chief economic cheerleader

When you think of a cheerleader personality, Ben Bernanke's cautious, monotone manner doesn't come to mind.

Yet, for lack of others, the Fed chairman has emerged as the chief cheerleader for the struggling U.S. economic recovery. Even if he is measured in his cheering.

The reason: increasing fears about a double-dip recession that could truly send the U.S. into a second Great Depression that we so narrowly avoided in 2008.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is globe-trotting from Europe to China, where he shot threes in a pickup basketball game with the locals. He's trying to get the big countries on the same page of fiscal recovery and reform, and what he's doing is important, no doubt, but he's not here, where unemployment is still near 10 percent and it looks like only government can create jobs.

President Obama is looking for someone's you-know-what to kick because of the BP oil spill crisis.

We haven't seen Larry Summers, Obama's top economic adviser, in a while and, frankly, I don't feel much better when we do.

So it has fallen to the near-laconic Bernanke, the academician from Princeton who is so cheery he became an expert on the Great Depression, to calm the fears of an American public that is worried about unemployment in the U.S., has watched stocks fall since April and looks to Europe and Asia with a worried eye.

At a speech in Washington on Monday night, Bernanke said the economy will continue to recover, but "it won't feel terrific."

"So far the news is pretty good," Bernanke said, according to the AP. "We've seen consumer coming back. We've seen firms spending more. There are some signs the private sector is picking up the baton and moving the economy forward."

In testimony on the Hill today, Bernanke worked to calm fears about the chaos that could ensue if the euro fails and the eurozone collapses, saying European leaders are "fully committed" to the euro and the E.U.

"Although the support to economic growth from fiscal policy is likely to diminish in the coming year, the incoming data suggest that gains in private final demand will sustain the recovery in economic activity," Bernanke said.

He even said that he thought troubled insurance giant AIG, which has received $47 billion in federal bailout money, would eventually repay its debt to U.S. taxpayers.

Not quite sis-boom-bah! But it's the best we got.

By Frank Ahrens  |  June 9, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
Categories:  Deficit/debt , Fed Reserve  
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The fact that the "economy" needs a cheerleader is a testament to how far the dismal science has sunk. The more interesting question is why anyone is listening to Bernanke. He has gotten nothing right in his predictions about the economy. Why not listen to people like Peter Schiff who perfectly forecast the economic crisis.

Until our glorious leaders actually understand economics we are merely going to dig ourselves deeper into recession.

Posted by: mlutter | June 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

What a silly piece. We continue to get nothing but propaganda from Bernanke and Geithner. That is why NO one respects them.

Posted by: hummarstra | June 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Bernanke doesn't care about jobs or the economy, he bailed out his banker friends and all is fine now.

Posted by: obrier2 | June 9, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"The federal government must and shall quit this business of relief. I am not willing that the vitality of our people be further stopped by the giving of cash, of market baskets, of a few bits of weekly work cutting grass, raking leaves, or picking up papers in the public parks."

Franklin D. Roosevelt
State of the Union, 1935
January 4th, 1935

Bernanke makes sense for a change when he says it might be a good thing that fiscal policy will diminish for this next year. Check out the effects on this graph of what fiscal policy does to the economy.

Posted by: strawberries420 | June 9, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse looks like only Government can create jobs.
Without the US Government's help (and cooperation)nobody can create jobs !
I have a ready project , which can create about 9,5 million new jobs in the USA !
Budget needed : $ 49,2 billion !
I need the US Government's help to realize it ! Is $ 49,2 billion to much to invest for 9,5 million new jobs ??
I hope , the US Government will pay attention to my project ! Time is running out for 15 millions of unemployed American people ! I have a ready project ! I need the US Government's help to create 9,5 million new jobs !
Kalman Menyhart , Sherman Oaks , CA

Posted by: menyhartsoccer | June 9, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: yourmomscalling | June 9, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

We are in a recovery???

I am not one of the unemployed...

Congress needs to be held accountable for the their failure to create a jobs bill and a jobs market.

extending Unemployment is not the answer however it what is needed. the Answer is to create jobs, which will take Congress to place hire taxes on any company that out sources jobs over seas, higher taxes on any funds leaving the US and higher tariffs on imports.

Until then we have to pay out unemployment for the failure of our leaders.

Support unemployment here, it is one of highest all time petitions.

Posted by: Tim_incubator | June 9, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

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