Bernanke says unemployment is the ‘most important’ problem now

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said unemployment is “the most important” problem facing the U.S.

“Unemployment is the most important problem we have right now, and we take the dual mandate extremely seriously,” he said today in response to questions at the House Financial Services Committee in the second day of semiannual congressional testimony on monetary policy. “I would respectively disagree that we haven’t been doing anything or not been urgent.”

The Fed has “pushed monetary stimulation to the highest point in American history” and “tripled our balance sheet,” among other “very strong steps,” Bernanke said. “What we can do is make financial conditions as supportive of growth as we can and we are certainly committed to doing that.”

Full story: Bernanke Says Unemployment Is the ‘Most Important’ Problem Now – BusinessWeek