Bernanke defends Fed rate policies in Indianapolis speech

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has offered a sharp defense of its bold policies to stimulate the weak economy.

Bernanke said in an Indianapolis speech that the Fed needs to drive down borrowing rates because the economy isn't growing fast enough to reduce high unemployment. The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent.

He told the Economic Club of Indiana that low rates could also help lower the federal budget deficit by reducing the government's borrowing costs and generating more tax revenue through stronger growth.

At the same time, Bernanke is cautioning Congress against changing the law so it could review the Fed's interest-rate policy discussions. He warns that could improperly inject politics into the talks and make Fed policymakers less likely to act.

Bernanke was first appointed to lead the Federal Reserve in 2006 by President George W. Bush. He was reappointed in 2010 by President Barack Obama.

See Bernanke's complete remarks here.

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