Ben Bernanke

Bernanke: Tightening the Fed Could Endanger Recovery

Defends aggressive actions

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. economy remains hampered by high unemployment and government spending cuts, and raising interest rates or reducing asset purchases too soon would endanger the recovery.

"A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further," Bernanke said today in testimony to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress in Washington. Monetary policy is providing "significant benefits," he said.

Bernanke is leading the most aggressive economic stimulus in the Fed's 100-year history in an effort to spur growth and reduce an unemployment rate that stands at 7.5 percent almost four years into a recovery from the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression.

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