Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve System, defended the Fed's role at the onset of the on-going global financial crisis in a speech in New York on April 13. He told the audience at the Russell Sage Foundation and The Century Foundation that the financial crisis was "best understood as a classic financial panic".
The Fed chairman said the most familiar type of panic typically involves runs on banks by retail depositors. These runs, however, have been rendered largely obsolete by cr
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