Is it over?
The contrasting leads of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times sure seem like good news.
The Times emphasises the prospects for growth.
Central bankers from around the world expressed growing confidence on Friday that the worst of the financial crisis was over and that a global economic recovery was beginning to take shape.
“The prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good,” declared Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, offering optimism both about the United States and the worldwide outlook.
The Journal focuses on the idea that the financial crisis has passed.
Central bankers at the Federal Reserve’s annual retreat in the Grand Tetons are breathing easier about the outlook for the global economy than just a few months ago.
“Fears of financial collapse have receded substantially,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s conference here. “After contracting sharply over the past year, economic activity appears to be levelling out, both in the U.S. and abroad, and the prospects for a return to growth in the next year appear good.”
Confidence is so high that much of the talk out in Wyoming is not about how to address the recession, but about the “exit strategy.” One thing that seems certain: the central bankers from around the globe are pretty happy with themselves. And they are convinced they did the right thing by adopting the No More Lehmans policy.
From the Journal:
Mr. Bernanke said the multitude of Fed programs launched since last year’s collapse of Lehman Brothers has diffused the panic. When finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s biggest economies committed to not allow any other big financial institutions to fail in October, he said, it proved to be a “watershed” event that helped to turn short-term credit markets toward recovery. He credited other programs — such as an effort to restore issuance of debt securities backed by auto loans and credit-card debt — with helping to revive some markets.
“History is full of examples in which the policy responses to financial crises have been slow and inadequate, often resulting ultimately in greater economic damage and increased fiscal costs,” Mr. Bernanke said. “In this episode, by contrast, policy makers in the United States and around the globe responded with speed and force to arrest a rapidly deteriorating and dangerous situation.”
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