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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bernanke: Stabilizing the Financial Markets and the Economy

by Calculated Risk on 10/15/2008 12:19:00 PM

From Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke: Stabilizing the Financial Markets and the Economy. Excerpt on the economy:

Stabilization of the financial markets is a critical first step, but even if they stabilize as we hope they will, broader economic recovery will not happen right away. Economic activity had been decelerating even before the recent intensification of the crisis. The housing market continues to be a primary source of weakness in the real economy as well as in the financial markets, and we have seen marked slowdowns in consumer spending, business investment, and the labor market. Credit markets will take some time to unfreeze. And with the economies of our trading partners slowing, our export sales, which have been a source of strength, very probably will slow as well. These restraining influences on economic activity, however, will be offset somewhat by the favorable effects of lower prices for oil and other commodities on household purchasing power. Ultimately, the trajectory of economic activity beyond the next few quarters will depend greatly on the extent to which financial and credit markets return to more normal functioning.
emphasis added
Bernanke is looking for longer term improvement - the next few quarters will be ugly for sure.