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Economy is Improving, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Tells Morehouse and National Television Audience

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

(April 14, 2009) -- In a rare public appearance, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Morehouse College business students, faculty and staff, along with a national television audience, that the current economic crisis is showing signs of improvement.

“Recently we have seen tentative signs that the sharp decline in economic activity may be slowing, for example, in data on home sales, homebuilding and consumer spending, including sales of new motor vehicles,” he said during his April 14th Executive Lecture in the Executive Conference Center’s Bank of America Auditorium.

“A leveling out of economic activity is the first step toward recovery,” he said. “To be sure, we will not have a sustainable recovery without a stabilization of our financial system and credit markets.”

The Executive Lecture and Chat series brings some of the top governmental and business leaders to Morehouse to talk with students about what made them successful and what students should do to follow in their footsteps.

Bernanke’s appearance was a coup for Morehouse as Federal Reserve Board members rarely do public speaking engagements in order to not adversely affect the markets.

Broadcast nationally on cable outlets including Fox Business News, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN and MSNBC, Bernanke spoke for 25 minutes about the world’s historic economic problems, where the problems started and what the Federal Reserve is doing to fix them.

“We are making progress on that front as well and the Federal Reserve is committed to working to restore financial stability as a necessary step towards full financial recovery,” he said.

Bernanke then took an array of probing questions from four Morehouse business and economic students, Tristan Allen, Anthony Roberts, Ricardo Rabathaly and Zantoine Truluck, all seniors.

“This really highlights Morehouse’s role as a national convener of thought leaders and change agents who inform and shape Morehouse students to become responsible civic leaders,” said President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75.

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