The Importance of Main Street America

Bernanke Hails Importance of Main Street America

Ben Bernanke, in an unprecedented broadcast interview for a sitting Federal Reserve chairman, said growing up in a small town taught him the difference from Wall Street and Main Street America. Recalling his father’s struggles and sacrifices in running a family drugstore in Dillon, S.C., Bernanke said during a CBS “60 Minutes” interview that he recognized that getting Wall Street functioning smoothly again is important to Main Street America. He made a point that the economist with Harvard and MIT degrees has never worked on Wall Street.

"I come from Main Street," Bernanke said. "And I care about Wall Street for one reason and one reason only—because what happens on Wall Street matters to Main Street. And if we don't have stabilization in the financial markets, if we don't take the steps necessary to make sure that credit is flowing again, then my father couldn't get a loan to build his new store."

Bernanke predicted the recession would “probably” end this year if the government’s efforts to stabilize the financial markets and get banks lending more freely again are successful. “I just have every confidence that as we get through this crisis, that our economy will begin to grow again, and it will remain the most powerful and dynamic economy in the world," he said.