Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, expressed confidence that the worst recession since the 1930s is almost over. In a speech before a Brookings Institution audience Tuesday morning Bernanke made the guardedly optimistic assessment that the economy likely had begun to grow again. He added that growth would be too slow to prevent unemployment from continuing to rise.
Item: The National Public Radio news blog, “The Two-Way,” reported on August 7: “The relatively good news that the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.4 percent in July had President Barack Obama claiming credit for his administration for stabilizing the economy.” The president was quoted saying, in part: “Today, we’re pointed in the right direction…. We’ve rescued our economy from catastrophe.”
At a town hall meeting held in his Massachusetts district, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank provided a surprising response to a constituent’s inquiry about H.R. 1207, Rep. Ron Paul's bill calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve.
News stories on August 19 reported that Neil Barofsky, Special Inspector General (SIG) of the U.S. treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), had agreed to audit the $301 billion of federal asset guarantees extended to Citigroup Inc. since last November.
The Obama administration is expected to release a report soon estimating that the 10-year budget deficit for the United States will be roughly $9 trillion, up approximately $2 trillion from the previous projection of $7.108 trillion, Reuters reported on August 21.