Bernanke Proves Like No Other Fed Chairman on Joblessness
When it comes to achieving his mandate for full employment, Ben S. Bernanke’s willingness to undertake more bond buying shows yet again that he’s the most aggressive and experimental Federal Reserve chairman in history.
Unemployment that’s stalled above 8 percent for 43 consecutive months has prompted Bernanke to make the case for adding to his record monetary stimulus because it would provide a benefit, even if small, said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. Bernanke defended his use of unorthodox policies in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, last month, and signaled a third round of so-called quantitative easing might be needed to lower joblessness.
“He wants to do whatever it takes,” said Feroli, a former Fed economist. Bernanke’s message was “let’s get away from the squabbling” over the pros and cons of different strategies and “remember that we’ve got a huge problem here, so let’s do something.”