The Day the Financial World Almost Ended

Excerpt: "Yes, we bailed out the economy," said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in Senate testimony on Thursday, referring to the Fed's role in responding to the Bear Sterns collapse. But since when is it the Fed's job to authorize spending taxpayer money, which violates the long-standing separation between Fed and Treasury duties? Testimony presented to the Senate Banking Committee by the players in the Bear Stearns/JP Morgan bailout exposed, moment by moment, just how vulnerable our financial system is to collapse.

I sat spellbound watching Bernanke use terms like "severe" and "extremely difficult to contain" when referring to the damage that would have resulted in the collapse of Bear Stearns, the fifth largest investment bank in America.

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