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Associated Press
In this Sept. 30, 2010 file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Banking Committee.

Robert J. Samuelson wrote a recent column titled "Bashing of federal reserve ignores the truth" (Dec. 13). He had some valid points considering the popping of the housing bubble. What he forgot to mention was the fact that no asset bubble can take place without an abundance of money and credit, which is precisely what the Federal Reserve provides.

The irresponsible actions of the Fed with below market interest rates and cheap money for an extended period made the housing bubble possible. Without the Fed, the housing bubble would never have happened. In the midst of the bubble Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Fed, had the audacity to say you can't spot a bubble in advance; only in hindsight. He went on to say it was easier to clean up the mess from a popped bubble than to stop it.

I think that opinion has now been proven to be false. We are three years into the cleanup with no end in sight. In addition to the massive number of Americans who are out of work because of the bubble, people who need to earn interest on their savings are cheated from a market rate of return because of the Fed's policy to keep short-term interest rates near zero for an extended period of time.

Ronald Eliason