Bloomberg News

Fed’s Bernanke Briefed Senate Democrats on Europe, Durbin Says

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke briefed Senate Democrats today about the European debt crisis and said it could have an impact on the U.S. economy, said Senators Dick Durbin and Barbara Boxer.

“He gave us an analysis of what’s going on in Europe, and there are some critical decisions being made over there that could have an impact on the United States,” Durbin, of Illinois, said in Washington.

European stocks declined the most in two weeks amid concern the euro area’s leaders are far from agreeing on a plan to end the region’s debt crisis. European governments may unleash as much as 940 billion euros ($1.3 trillion) to fight the debt crisis by combining the temporary and planned permanent rescue funds, two people familiar with the discussions said.

Bernanke told senators that the crisis is “worrisome and it impacts our economy,” Durbin told reporters. “He has urged the leaders of Europe to take it very seriously, but he’s not alone. Other countries from around the world have joined him in that chorus. This is not confined to any specific countries in Europe or the euro zone. It really has a reach beyond that.”

Bernanke was asked to a luncheon held by Senate Democrats on Thursdays.

“We invited him to be a professor,” Boxer, of California, said. “We invited him to come to us and teach us about this crisis.”

--Editors: Vince Golle, Kevin Costelloe

To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Mattingly at pmattingly@bloomberg.net; Laura Litvan at llitvan@bloomberg.net

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


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