Congress to Grill Bernanke on Bear Stearns

Questions will likely focus on timing and intensity of Fed's actions in brokering deal
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Apr 2, 2008 8:40 AM CDT
People leave Bear Stearns on Monday, March 24, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steps onto a tightrope today for two days of Congressional testimony focusing on the central bank’s starring role in the Bear Stearns bailout. Bernanke likely will be taken to task for not stepping in earlier, and more forcefully, to avert economic chaos, reports the New York Times.

Bernanke is expected to explain the Fed’s reaction to the meltdown in detail; but experts say he’ll be cautious to avoid inflaming investor concerns further over a still-shaky economy. Nevertheless, reports the Wall Street Journal, Bernanke plans to testify that the US economy likely won't grow "much, if at all, over the first half of 2008 and could even contract slightly."