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Bernanke: Bold actions critical in Fed's 100 years
Bernanke says Federal Reserve sometimes must stand up to political pressure to bolster economy
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
Associated Press
2013-12-17 03:42 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Joined by his two predecessors, Ben Bernanke marked the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve by reflecting on the bold actions past chairmen have had to take in the best interest of the U.S. economy.

To make his point, Bernanke referred light-heartedly to a two-by-four he keeps on his desk. It was mailed to the Fed by homebuilders protesting high interest rates the central bank was using in the late 1970s and early 1980s to fight inflation.

For Bernanke, the fight has been the opposite. He's kept interest rates at record lows and pursued "controversial but necessary measures" to fight a severe financial crisis.

Nonetheless, the Fed, Bernanke says, has demonstrated a willingness to take tough but necessary steps during its first century.

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