WASHINGTON (4/15/09)—In a speech that primarily addressed aspects of the country’s current financial struggles, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke also declared that he is “fundamentally optimistic” about the economy. Bernanke, addressing students and faculty at Morehouse College, Atlanta, acknowledged that the current crisis has been “one of the most difficult financial and economic episodes in modern history.” However, in his conclusion he noted recent, “tentative” signs that the sharp drop in economic activity may be slowing. He cited recent data on home sales, homebuilding, and consumer spending, as indicative of a leveling out of economic activity marking “the first step toward recovery.” “To be sure, we will not have a sustainable recovery without a stabilization of our financial system and credit markets. We are making progress on that front as well, and the Federal Reserve is committed to working to restore financial stability as a necessary step toward full economic recovery,” he stated. He added, “I am fundamentally optimistic about our economy.” Use the resource link below to access the Fed chairman’s speech.