The Current

Ben Bernanke shares inside account of global financial meltdown

Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve takes us inside the stick-handling of the Wall Street meltdown that nearly led to another depression. And he shares his concerns that top bank executives were not criminally investigated.
Former Chair of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke says executives involved in tanking the economy should have faced jail time. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Listen19:13
"We did what we did, because we thought it was necessary to preserve the integrity of the American financial system... What we did, always in my mind, was what was the best thing for the American public... not to help individual Wall Street people." - Ben Bernanke in 2008 defending the Bear Sterns bailout

Imagine being tasked to make a decision that would have enormous consequences for economies right around the world.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke was in such a position back in 2008 during the Wall Street meltdown.  

It's an episode of recent history that we're still living with today. And one that Ben Bernanke is taking time to reflect on, with his new memoir titled "The Courage to Act."  

Ben Bernanke was chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 2006 until 2014. We reached him in New York City. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.