Sep 8 - Federal Reserve Chaiman Ben Bernanke offered no bold new ideas on what to do to fix the economy. Speaking in Minneapolis, the Fed Chairman left the audience clueless on what the next step will be. Carmen Roberts reports.
Everyone from Wall Street to the corner drugstore is looking for someone to get the United States out of this economic mess. Speaking in Minneapolis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke repeated that Fed policy makers will spare no effort to boost the disappointingly weak growth. But he offered no bold new ideas. Rather he repeated the Fed has a range of tools. SOUNDBITE: BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "My FOMC colleagues and I will continue to consider those and other pertinent issues including, of course, economic and financial developments at our meeting in September and are prepared to employ these tools as appropriate." That meeting later this month is likely why Bernanke kept mum. It's important to remember, Bernanke is only one of 19 Fed policymakers. Wells Fargo Economist Jay Bryson: SOUNDBITE: JAY BRYSON, GLOBAL ECONOMIST, WELLS FARGO (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There're going to obviously be a lot of arguments going on in that room. But he does not want to say anything publically right now, at this point, because he can't promise that he can come through with it." Bernanke's speech came just hours before President Obama's jobs speech. In a one-two punch with the President, Bernanke urged Congress to fix the country's long term financial problems, but without crushing current growth. SOUNDBITE: BEN BERNANKE, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There are real controversies and real disagreements, and those need to be worked out. But we do need to work together to find solutions and achieve what we know we can achieve - a sustainable budget for the US government." SOUNDBITE: JAY BRYSON, GLOBAL ECONOMIST, WELLS FARGO (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The economy is very, very weak right now. If you cut current spending to the bone, that could weaken the economy even further." Bernanke's downbeat assessment of the US economy confirms what most believe - the FOMC will likely take some sort of action later this month. Carmen Roberts, Reuters.