Perlmutter Questions Bernanke on Unemployment

March 26 2010, 9:09 AM
Coloradans' personal income fell by 3.9 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to federal officials, in the latest bad news about the economy. Per-capita, residents in the state averaged $41,344 annually in 2009, down from $43,021 the prior year, writes the Denver Business Journal. As that data was released, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., heard from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, who faced a rather pointed question about the sluggish economy from Congressman Ed Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat. Aided by charts showing Americans to be the most productive they've been per person in six decades, Perlmutter also noted high unemployment---millions of Americans out of work (via Barron's). "Where are you with your ideas for getting people back to work? If you tighten the money supply, what do you expect happens to our effort to get people back to work?" Perlmutter asked. Bernanke responded, in part, "From the Federal Reserve’s perspective, we are recovering from a very deep recession, and monetary policy is more accommodative than it’s ever been. Interest rates are close to zero, and we’ve more than doubled our balance sheets, and used all these other policies to get markets working again, and increase capital in the banking industry. We are taking very seriously the unemployment situation, and we take seriously that part of our mandate, for maximum employment."