Ben Bernanke

There’s no denying that a collapse in stock prices today would pose serious macroeconomic challenges for the United States. Consumer spending would slow, and the U.S. economy would become less of a magnet for foreign investors. Economic growth, which in any case has recently been at unsustainable levels, would decline somewhat. History proves, however, that a smart central bank can protect the economy and the financial sector from the nastier side effects of a stock market collapse.

If current trends continue, the typical U.S. worker will be considerably more productive several decades from now. Thus, one might argue that letting future generations bear the burden of population aging is appropriate, as they will likely be richer than we are even taking that burden into account.

Given the central role of effective, firmwide risk management in maintaining strong financial institutions, it is clear that supervisors must redouble their efforts to help organizations improve their risk-management practices…We are also considering the need for additional or revised supervisory guidance regarding various aspects of risk management, including further emphasis on the need for an enterprise-wide perspective when assessing risk.

A meritocracy is a system in which the people who are the luckiest in their health and genetic endowment; luckiest in terms of family support, encouragement and, probably, income; luckiest in their educational and career opportunities; and luckiest in so many other ways difficult to enumerate – these are the folks who reap the largest rewards.

I think that having good data, good statistics-and the United States generally has better macroeconomic statistics than most countries-and having good economists to interpret those data and present the policy alternatives, has a substantially beneficial effect on policymaking in the United States.