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'Bernankenomics' Sparks Inflation vs. Growth Debate

Unemployment has hit a five-year low, yet inflation remains a top concern. Has Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s first year on the job been good for America? “Morning Call” brought experts to debate.

Michael Panzner, the author of “Financial Armageddon,” said Bernanke has people focused in the wrong direction. He cited Thursday’s sluggish retail sales data to suggest that economic risks pose a greater concern in the near-term than inflation: “I’m really fearful now that [the Fed is] going to be way behind the curve, and end up with an environment that they’re really not striving for.”

Greg Hess, dean of faculty at Claremont McKenna College, disagrees: “The Fed is clearly on its toes,” he said. “I do not believe Ben Bernanke will miss any signals.” And consumption growth remains robust in the latest GDP figures, Hess said. Bernanke "has a very strong appreciation of the linkages between real activity and financial activity,” he said.