We had no choice, Bernanke tells lawmakers

The Federal Reserve had no choice but to intervene and put taxpayers' money at risks earlier this month by backing a fire sale of the assets of Bear Stearns, a leading American investment bank, its chairman said on Wednesday in testimony before US lawmakers.

Ben Bernanke headed for Congress on Wednesday for what has been billed as potentially his toughest grilling by politicians since taking over at helm of the Fed little over two years ago.

A key area of concern for many members is that the

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