Greenspan, Bernanke Agree: The Economy Stinks

Current and former Fed chairmen express pessimistic views about the future of the U.S. economy.

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At a dinner in Houston last night, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that the country is "clearly on the edge" of a recession and that it's more likely than not we will teeter over that edge. Earlier that day, his successor, Ben Bernanke, testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs that we should expect growth to continue to be sluggish this year. But he's optimistic that things will pick up in the second half of the year as Fed rate cuts and the stimulus package take effect, and we will have "somewhat stronger growth." So far today, sharp drops in the latest Empire State manufacturing survey and in the Michigan consumer sentiment report have Wall Street in a glum mood.