Awkward moment: Biden's economic adviser Jared Bernstein admits he ‘can't explain how money works’

12:07 06.05.2024 •

Bernstein (left), was the chief economist and economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden during the Obama Administration in 2009.

Jared Bernstein, Joe Biden's Chief Economist, faced difficulties explaining money's workings in a documentary 'Finding The Money,' despite his role.

He stumbled through concepts, highlighting the confusion around government money printing and borrowing.

Bernstein, who is head of the US Council of Economic Advisers, is not formally trained in economics and appeared bewildered in the clip.

Jared Bernstein, the Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to Joe Biden, has been featured in a clip in which he struggles to explain how money works.

'We all use money, and yet the questions of what is money, and where does money come from remain elusive,' the film teases in a preview.

But it seems the answers are elusive even to Bernstein who in one particularly awkward exchange, found the question hard to answer.

'The US government can’t go bankrupt because we can print our own money,' Bernstein began, keeping his answer straightforward at first.

'They print the dollars so why does the government even borrow?' the interviewer then asks.

'Well, some of the language is just confusing. The government definitely prints its own money. The government definitely prints money and lends that money. The government definitely prints money,' Bernstein rambled repeatedly, as he seemingly struggled with the basic concepts.

'It then lends that money by selling bonds. Is that what that they do?', Bernstein, who does not have a formal background in economics, asked himself.

'They sell bonds and then people buy the bonds and lends the money. Yeah,' Bernstein went on as he appeared to become further confused, while attempting to reassure himself with his own answer.

'Language and concepts can be unnecessarily confusing,' he surmised.

'I don’t get it. I don’t know what they’re talking about,' he finally admitted.

Bernstein was confirmed as chair of the United States Council of Economic Advisers last June.

The state of the economy is weighing on voters' minds as the November presidential campaign intensifies.


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