Washington Times—Ben Bernanke delivers blunt warning on U.S. debt

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With uncharacteristic bluntness, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned Congress on Wednesday that the United States could soon face a debt crisis like the one in Greece, and declared that the central bank will not help legislators by printing money to pay for the ballooning federal debt.

Recent events in Europe, where Greece and other nations with large, unsustainable deficits like the United States are having increasing trouble selling their debt to investors, show that the U.S. is vulnerable to a sudden reversal of fortunes that would force taxpayers to pay higher interest rates on the debt, Mr. Bernanke said.

"It's not something that is 10 years away. It affects the markets currently," he told the House Financial Services Committee. "It is possible that bond markets will become worried about the sustainability [of yearly deficits over $1 trillion], and we may find ourselves facing higher interest rates even today...."

"We're not going to monetize the debt," Mr. Bernanke declared flatly, stressing that Congress needs to start making plans to bring down the deficit to avoid such a dangerous dilemma for the Fed.

"It is very, very important for Congress and administration to come to some kind of program, some kind of plan that will credibly show how the United States government is going to bring itself back to a sustainable position."

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetFederal ReserveThe National DeficitPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate

3 Comments
Posted February 27, 2010 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Wow!  That’s “ncharacteristic bluntness” indeed.  Someone in high places who is willing to say the obvious, that the Emperor has no clothes.  Bravo, Bernanke!

Of course, the out-of-control federal budget is totally unsustainable.  We all know that, except it appears for some idiots in Washington.

But will anyone in Congress actually listen to him and heed the call to repent before it’s too late?  That’s the only question.

David Handy+

February 27, 1:01 pm | [comment link]
2. CanaAnglican wrote:

...declared that the central bank will not help legislators by printing money to pay for the ballooning federal debt….

Want to bet?

February 27, 2:53 pm | [comment link]
3. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

Wow, Bernanke should have been at the Health Care Summit.  Maybe they would have listened…nah, they are tone deaf to 75% of the electorate so I don’t think they will listen to the banker either.  The volume on their progressive ideology is too loud.

February 27, 6:51 pm | [comment link]
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