Bernanke warns: "The recovery is close to faltering"

“Monetary policy can be a powerful tool, but it is not a panacea for the problems currently faced by the U.S. economy,” Mr. Bernanke said. “Fostering healthy growth and job creation is a shared responsibility of all economic policy makers.”

Mr. Bernanke began his testimony Tuesday by repeating his basic assessment that the economy has grown more slowly than expected, because of unexpected setbacks like the Japanese earthquake and the European debt crisis and because of domestic problems like the ongoing housing crisis.

“The recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than we hoped,” he said, although he also reiterated that the Fed expects faster growth going forward.