WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Tuesday that a flurry of radical programs aimed at busting through debilitating credit clogs are showing promise and pledged to keep Americans better informed about efforts to battle the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

While acknowledging that measuring the impact of the Fed's programs is complicated because many factors affect market conditions, Bernanke said the central bank was encouraged by feedback from Wall Street and others.

"Our lending to financial institutions, together with action taken by other agencies, has helped to relax the severe liquidity strains experienced by many firms and has been associated with considerable improvements" in bank-to-bank lending, Bernanke said in testimony to the House Financial Services Committee.

Specifically, a Fed program to buy mounds of "commercial paper" has helped to relieve strains for many companies that rely on this crucial short-term financing to bankroll everyday expenses like payrolls and supplies, Bernanke said.

Another program has bolstered the money market mutual fund industry as sharp withdrawals seen in September have since waned. And a program to buy mortgage debt has helped to drive down mortgage rates, he said.

A program aimed at increasing the availability of consumer loans is being expanded and should be "operational shortly," Bernanke said.

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

Trending Video

Recommended for you