For one of the first times in the organization's nearly century-long existence, the sitting Fed chairman Ben Bernanke sat this past weekend to answer questions on the record from the citizens of the United States.
"'A lot of things happened, a lot came together, [and] created probably the worst financial crisis, certainly since the Great Depression and possibly even including the Great Depression,' Bernanke said at the start of a town-hall meeting in Kansas City.
Asked when 'this [recession] is going to end,' Bernanke said growth would return in the second half of 2009, likely at a 1% pace. The unemployment rate won't peak until next year, he said.
The Fed has put the 'pedal to the metal' to try to get the economy growing at a faster pace.
Maybe because his earlier answers were on the scary side, Bernanke then tried to be a cheerleader, saying that the U.S. economy 'couldn't be held down' and would eventually return to a strong growth pace."