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Wednesday, March 28, 2007 11:03 a.m. EDT

Fed's Bernanke: Subprime Mortgage Problems Contained Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that growing troubles in the market for risky mortgages thus far doesn't appear to be spreading to the overall economy but the situation bears close watching.  "At this juncture . . . the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained," Bernanke said in prepared testimony to Congress' Joint Economic Committee. 

AP News Flash: Friday, March 15, 2008  

Acknowledging that he might have slightly misjudged the strength of the U.S. economy, Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve announced the latest effort to stabilize the U.S. financial markets with the announcement that the Fed would join John Mellencamp for a nation-wide rock tour known as “Credit Aid”. Mellencamp planned to lead off the tour with remake of his signature, “Aint Even Done with the  Night”. The updated version now entitled, “Aint Even done with the Cuts”.  The tour will begin on Wall Street but was expected to eventually include every state in the union.  In an unusual twist, tickets for the concert were free; in fact, Helicopter Ben was actually planning to  throw money out of the band’s chartered airline in the effort to attract and promote the tour among white collar financial executives.    

 

Responding to criticism that the effort could cannibalize revenues for Farm Aid, Chairman Bernanke was blunt in stating “ the reality is that I’ve already helped the farmers enough.  The collapse of the U.S. dollar and subsequent inflationary pressures were driving commodity prices to record highs.  The same financial acumen we have demonstrated on the farm now needs to be shown on Wall Street” quoted the Chairman. Bernanke stressed the need to remain creative in addressing the credit turmoil.  Tour organizers said they planned to offer a number of novel entertainment options including free raffle tickets to investment bankers and lenders with poor quality entitling to the holder to exchange their questionable collateral for crisp new dollar bills.  The Chairman also indicated that the Fed planned to broaden the pool of potential lenders.  He stated:  “I recognize that some purists believe that the Fed should be limited to extending credit to traditional depository institutions, but bolder steps are now needed.  In addition to investment banks such as Bear Stearns, the Fed Chairman said he hoped to broaden the Fed’s lending window to include “just about anybody with a white shirt” – payday lenders, bookies and others without traditional access to the Fed window.  

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