Bernanke testimony calls for fiscal responsibility, but contains no surprises

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony this morning before the House Budget Committee contained no surprises or major revelations.

Bernanke started by pointing out the sad state of the economy:

  • Gross domestic product dropped six percent in the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

  • Nearly six million jobs were lost since the beginning of 2008; he expects unemployment to rise in the coming months, even after the economy resumes growth.

  • Tight credit conditions, declines in equity and household wealth, and the weak labor market continue to weigh on consumer spending.