With the Fed policy under fire, Ben Bernanke is everywhere. Normally reluctant to take questions from reporters he is now available to defend the Feds policy against China and other developing countries claims the US is driving up global food and energy prices. Mr. Bernanke answer to these countries is it’s simply your problem.
With scant attention from the press here, the untold story of surging food prices in Egypt and Tunisia have contributed to their unrest. The United Nations said Thursday its index for global food prices have reached a new high. Commodity prices are higher than the 2008 prices for sugar, cereals and vegetable oil. Prices have risen 3.4% for the seventh straight monthly gain.
Mr. Bernanke has some thoughts on the looming debt ceiling debate in congress as well. He warns Republicans;
If the ceiling isn’t raised, a U.S. debt default would have “catastrophic” implications for the financial system, U.S. fiscal policy and the economy, he said. “I would very much urge Congress not to focus on the debt limit as being the bargaining chip in this discussion, but rather to address directly the spending and tax issues that we have to deal with in order to make progress on this fiscal situation,”