The Corner

He’s Not Alone

By JEANNINE AVERSA

AP Economics Writer

   Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve was “extremely

uncomfortable” about last year’s bailouts of big financial

companies, but the Fed chief believes the central bank’s strategy

to ease the financial crisis is working.

   Bernanke referred to the Fed’s unprecedented decisions last year

to step in and financially back JPMorgan Chase’s takeover of

then-troubled investment house Bear Stearns, and throw its first of

four financial lifelines to insurance giant American International

Group.

   In remarks to a Fed conference in North Carolina, he says the

Fed was forced to take action because the collapse of those

companies would have dealt a serious blow to the financial system

and the broader economy. The situation underscores the need for new

powers to allow the government to safely wind down such huge firms.

  

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