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Defining Bernanke's 'Broad-Based Lending Program'

Tuesday, 4 Oct 2011 | 12:41 PM ET

What's a "broad-based lending program"? Stocks have come off their lows mid-morning. Ben Bernanke, in his testimony to the Joint Economic Committee, has said little new, but he did say that the Fed was prepared to provide a "broad-based lending program."

He was discussing this in the context of what might happen if the European debt crisis worsened and there was a run on the U.S. financial system:

"We would make sure we would stand ready to provide as much liquidity against collateral as needed as lender-of-last-resort for our banking system," he said.

Elsewhere, Mr. Bernanke has painted a fairly bleak picture of the U.S. economy: "the recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than we had hoped."

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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