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Bernanke speech "very sobering": OECD chief

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1 Bernanke speech "very sobering": OECD chief on Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:24 pm



Bernanke speech "very sobering": OECD chief

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming | Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:43pm EDT

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech at an economic symposium on Friday was a "very sober and very sobering message," said the head of the OECD.

"It's always good to listen to the head of the Fed saying, 'We're here, we're vigilant, we will do whatever it takes,'" Angel Gurria, Secretary-General, of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development club of industrialized nations, said in an interview with Reuters Insider in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where central bankers are gathered for an annual meeting.

Bernanke said the central bank had marked down its outlook for U.S. economic growth and made clear the policy focus was still on spurring a stronger recovery, but he did not provide any fresh details on steps the Fed could take. For details, see

The OECD is also prepared to cut growth expectations for much of the world, including Europe and Japan, with "few exceptions," Gurria said. "We're not talking about a contraction of the economies, but a slowdown of the growth."

For the full interview, please see: reut.rs/oEBEio

Despite the near-term gloom, Gurria noted there is still room for optimism on the long-term outlook.

"Not only did he say there's a way out, there is of course, but he mentioned many of the reasons," he said. "What we are seeing at the OECD is: Go structural, go social. That is if you ran out of monetary policy room, you ran out of fiscal room because your pockets are empty, so you go structural."

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