Streeters Give Ben Bad Grades

Fed chair faulted for bad choices
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 5:29 PM CST
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke discusses the near-term economic outlook while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008, before the House Budget Committee. (AP Photo/Dennis...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Economists went negative on Ben Bernanke in a new Wall Street Journal survey, grading the Fed chief at 75 out of 100 points—the lowest mark in two years on the job—and saying he had managed communications poorly and was too attentive to bears and bulls. One watcher said the Fed gave “too little too late on cuts, and has been lax on supervision and regulation.”

The predictors said it was more likely than ever the US would face a recession: While surveys last June and this January saw 23% and 40% chances, respectively, the new poll put the odds at 49%. The forecasters also foresaw poor quarterly growth—0.6%—in US gross domestic product and another half-point cut in interest rates before July.