Bloomberg News

Bernanke Says U.S. Bank Exposure to European Risk Is ‘Minimal’

October 04, 2011

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. banking system has manageable exposure to European nations buffeted by the sovereign debt crisis.

“We have looked very carefully at bank exposures both to foreign sovereigns and to foreign banks,” Bernanke said. “The exposures of U.S. banks to the most troubled sovereigns -- Portugal, Ireland and Greece -- is quite minimal. So the direct exposures there are not large.”

Bernanke said questions about the solvency of European nations and the stability of banks have created an “enormous amount of uncertainty” in financial markets, and financial volatility is one reason why the U.S. economic recovery has been slower than projected this year.

Bernanke made the comments in response to a question from Joint Economic Committee’s vice chairman, Representative Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican.

--Editors: Christopher Wellisz, Vince Golle

To contact the reporters on this story: Craig Torres in Washington at ctorres3@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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