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Bernanke gives lawmakers plain talk

Bernanke gives lawmakers plain talk

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WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke faced his first market crisis with a calm, matter-of-fact demeanor that won praise from lawmakers and economists alike.

Rather than the famously opaque language that predecessor Alan Greenspan sometimes employed, Bernanke on Wednesday answered lawmakers' questions with plain statements that seemed to calm investor anxiety.

Bernanke told the House Budget Committee that the Fed was monitoring market developments but had seen nothing that would cause it to change its positive outlook for the economy.

Discussing market operations, he said, "They seem to be working well, normally."

Analysts had suggested that Greenspan's weekend comments raising the possibililty of a recession might have played a role in Tuesday's plunge. Bernanke made clear he wouldn't be led into publicly contemplating what role Greenspan's remarks or other developments might have played.

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