During a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was asked about the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests that have spread from New York City to cities across the country. He said he “can’t blame” protesters for taking to the streets, considering continued high employment and slow economic growth. “They blame, with some justification, the financial sector for getting us into this mess,” Bernanke said:
BERNANKE: I would just say very generally, I think people are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what’s happening. They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they’re dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can’t blame them. Certainly, 9 percent unemployment and very slow growth is not a good situation.