unemployment insurance

James Politi

President Barack Obama held one of his periodic White House meetings with Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman, this morning, and the ensuing statement may have caught the attention of some central bank watchers.

Naturally, Mr Obama said he and Mr Bernanke “share the view that the economy is strengthening”. But of course, with unemployment stuck at 9.7 per cent, the president could not avoid stating that “we’ve still got a lot of work to do”.

Later, Mr Obama’s remarks get potentially more significant. He says “both of us emphasized…that if we can make sure that we continue to do the things that we’re doing, deal with folks who need help – so passing unemployment insurance, for example; making sure that we are working to get credit flowing to small businesses that are still having some difficulties in the credit markets; strengthening consumer confidence – then we think the general trends will be good…”

So does that mean that Mr Bernanke has abandoned his long-held position of not taking a position on particular tax and spending initiatives Read more