David Prosser: Bernanke does his best to talk us into a recovery

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The Independent Online

Outlook Does the US Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, really see some signs of green economic shoots out there? Back home, when Baroness Vadera dared to talk positive a couple of months ago, she was lampooned, yet Mr Bernanke's cautious optimism was a real shot in the arm for global stock markets yesterday.

Nor is the Fed alone in sounding a little more positive in recent days. The message coming out of the G20 finance ministers' summit over the weekend was that this is a recession that can be dealt with – that we will begin to recover in 2010 rather than facing a lasting depression.

In fact, the economic picture today is no better or worse than it was a week ago. What's interesting is that our global leaders seem to have taken a concerted decision to sound and look more optimistic. There is now a real fear that the constant stream of negative economic news and analysis will turn into a self-perpetuating cycle of despair.

Federal Reserve chairmen rarely do television interviews: Mr Bernanke's was the first for two decades. That he felt compelled to appear and to talk up the prospects of an early recovery tells its own story.

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