The Curious Case of Ben Bernanke. Ex-Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, is planning a memoir that will focus on his time at the Fed, the 2008 Financial Crisis, and on the 'Great Recession' that followed. Under his leadership, the Fed used every known tool to salvage the economy. Once those were exhausted, Bernanke turned to astonishing steps never before implemented by the Federal Reserve. He cut a key short-term interest rate to near zero, and launched a bond buying program that drove the Fed's balance sheet above $4 trillion to accelerate growth and reduce unemployment. In his last press conference, Bernanke acknowledged he had made a mistake: I was slow to recognize the crisis, in retrospect, it was a traditional classic crisis, but in a very, very different guise. I'd suggest our own RBA chief Glenn Stevens pick up the phone and ask Mr. Bernanke to elaborate.