Bernanke Says Financial Education Boosts Economy

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said financial education and planning boost the economy and that students who learn those skills are likely to save more later in life and better weather market turbulence.

“Financial education supports not only individual well- being, but also the economic health of our nation,” Bernanke said today in remarks prepared for a town hall meeting with teachers at the Fed in Washington. “Consumers who can make informed decisions about financial products and services not only serve their own best interests, but, collectively, they also help promote broader economic stability.”

Financial education “can play a key role” in promoting financial planning such as budgeting and saving for emergencies and retirement, which help households live better and be better positioned to handle financial shocks, said Bernanke, a former Princeton University professor whose wife, Anna, is a teacher.

Bernanke didn’t expand on the Fed’s Aug. 1 statement that it will increase stimulus if necessary to boost growth and cut a jobless rate stuck above 8 percent since February 2009, nor did he address the outlook for monetary policy or the economy. The 58-year-old Fed chief spoke to teachers at the Fed and by video link to those gathered at regional reserve banks.

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