Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke Says Monetary Policy Is Not a 'Panacea'


"With unemployment still quite high and the outlook for inflation subdued, and in the presence of significant downside risks to the outlook posed by strains in global financial markets, the FOMC has continued to maintain a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy," Bernanke said during his testimony.

The target range for the federal funds rate remains at 0 to 1/4 percent, and the FOMC still anticipates that economic conditions are likely to warrant "exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate" at least through late 2014, he said in his speech.

Members of Congress pressed Bernanke about whether the Federal Reserve was doing too much to interfere with the economy while others pressed him to act further.

"Monetary policy is not a panacea," Bernanke said during the Q&A, adding that "it would be much better" to have a broad-based policy effort implemented by Congress.

"I would feel much more comfortable if Congress would take some of this burden from us and address these issues," he said.

ABC News' Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.

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