Transcript: Diane Sawyer Sits Down with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke


CHAIRMAN BERNANKE: Well, I think so. I-- I really-- I really do believe that. The-- we have the strongest economy in the world. We have tremendous assets-- great universities and-- and research. We have-- a large and diverse economy with a very skilled workforce-- lots of entrepreneurship-- strong capital markets, everything you need to have-- have growth. We have a lot of problems. We've got education issues, we've got health issues, we've got-- fiscal policy issues. But we had those before the crisis. And I-- I think that-- our economy's gonna recover and-- and c-- and continue to grow and be-- a world leader. But we've got a lot of challenges, and there's no-- there's no covering up that fact.

DIANE SAWYER: How will you know-- how will we know when you believe the economy has passed all the thin ice?

CHAIRMAN BERNANKE: Well, you'll be able to tell by what-- what I say. Again at this point-- I'm encouraged, but still cautious. As-- as things-- continue to improve, if they improve at the rate I hope that they will-- we'll obviously-- change our forecasts-- and-- communicate that we think that things are normalizing.

DIANE SAWYER: And at this point you still feel-- feel the unemployment situation is cyclical and not structural and-- and spiraling in some China syndrome spiral?

CHAIRMAN BERNANKE: Well, all of these factors that people point to-- about-- you know, globalization and off-shoring and all those things, in the first place those things were all working before the-- the crisis and we had unemployment that was much lower than we have today. And then-- and then secondly, you know-- there's actually been some tendency to reverse off-shoring, to do on-shoring-- lot of jobs-- that have gone to China are-- have actually started to come back. And the U.S. is very competitive, and-- so I have some hopes that-- you know, that in fact-- we'll see more job growth coming from-- changes in where-- firms decide to produce.

DIANE SAWYER: Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.


DIANE SAWYER: Great to have the chance to talk to you.

Note: This transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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