Ben Bernanke Sees a Big ‘If’ on the Path to Recovery

by Noah Smith
BNN Bloomberg

The Federal Reserve has stepped in the save the economy again, this time from the coronavirus pandemic.

Not only did it cut interest rates to almost zero, but it unleashed a barrage of new programs to prop up financial markets, bailout out investors and businesses that borrowed too much before the U.S. economy shut much of the economy to contain the outbreak.

There is precedent for this: On a smaller scale, the Fed came to the rescue in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. Few know more about central bank bailouts than Ben Bernanke, who led the Fed during that time.

Bloomberg Opinion columnist Noah Smith interviewed him online last week. Below is a lightly edited transcript of their conversation.

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