America's recession will "probably" end this year, if the government succeeds in bolstering the banking system, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Sunday in a rare television interview.
In carefully hedged remarks in a taped interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Bernanke seemed to express a bit more optimism that this could be done.
Still, Bernanke stressed - as he did to Congress last month - that the prospects for the recession ending this year and a recovery taking root next year hinge on a difficult task: getting banks to lend more freely again and getting the financial markets to work in a more normal fashion.
"We've seen some progress in the financial markets, absolutely," Bernanke said. "But until we get that stabilized and working normally, we're not going to see recovery.