Bernanke sets out his stall

Ben Bernanke became chairman of the Federal Reserve at a delicate time in America's business cycle. In February 2006, after three years of healthy growth, the economy was on the verge of a slowdown. Core inflation was still accelerating because of the lagged impact of rising prices of oil and other commodities as well as an up-tick in rent. The dollar appeared to be vulnerable because America's current-account deficit was nearly 7% of GDP at the same time that there was investor uncertainty a