Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested in a taped interview on Sunday that the U.S. recession could last most of the year and said the biggest risk was that the political will needed to fix the fractured financial system could be lacking.
“This (economic) decline will begin to moderate and we’ll begin to see a leveling off,” Bernanke said when pressed during an interview on the CBS program “60 Minutes” about whether he sees the recession ending this year.
“We won’t be back to full employment. But we will, I hope, see the end of these declines that have been so strong in a last couple of quarters,” he said.
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Bernanke told the U.S. Congress in January that the Fed believes there is a reasonable prospect the recession that took hold in December 2007 will end this year and that 2010 will be a year of recovery.
In the rare on-record interview, he largely stuck to that view, while suggesting recent developments may have dimmed the outlook a bit.