Question: Could we have avoided Lehman?
Departing Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke: Even with Lehman. . .[we almost didn't get the TARP]. One congressman told me he had heard from his constituency. 50% said "no" and the other 50% said "hell, no."
Reporter: How confident were you that Quantitative Easing would work? Theorists were skeptical.
Bernanke: The problem with QE is it works in practice but it doesn't work in theory.
Reporter: Can we go back to Lehman?
Bernanke: Watching Lehman was like trying to keep a car from going over a bridge after a collision.
Reporter: Did you have some sleepless nights?
Big Ben: I did. But after some time I looked back and said, "Oh my God."
Many people don't know that Bernanke -- born in Augusta, Georgia, in December 1953 -- grew up in Dillon, South Carolina, where his father worked as a pharmacist. The lad won a state spelling bee at the age of 11. According to The New York Times, Bernanke earned the highest SAT scores in South Carolina for the year he sought college admission. He was accepted at Harvard University where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1975. He has served as chairman of the Federal Reserve since he replaced Alan Greenspan in January 2006 but is now stepping down. Janet Yellen has been tapped to succeed him.
The Fed is rumored to be considering a contest for the best jargon-free explanation of Quantitative Easing and how it works. There is a 500-word limit.
Meanwhile gold futures settled higher on Thursday.