Each year the world’s central bankers head for Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to take stock. Last year’s meeting was dominated by the brewing economic crisis: Participants spent much of their time in a command center set up to monitor and respond to developments. The center was up and running again at this year’s get-together last week, but it was usually empty. Instead, the bankers were generally optimistic about the state of the global economy and were beginning to look around the corner to the next stage in the recovery.
Mr. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, set the tone for this year’s meeting, declaring that “The prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.” His optimism was matched by that of Mr. Stanley Fischer, governor of the Bank of Israel, who concluded that “It is reasonable to declare that the worst of the crisis is behind us, and that the first signs of global growth have appeared earlier than we generally expected nine months ago.”
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