U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pointed to no additional stimulus from the bank but scolded lawmakers for letting the country skate so near the "fiscal cliff." Noting a "disappointingly slow" economy, Bernanke told the Economic Club in New York that "realization of all of the automatic tax increases and spending cuts that make up the fiscal cliff, absent offsetting changes, would pose a substantial threat to the recovery -- indeed, by the reckoning of the Congressional Budget Office and that of many outside observers, a fiscal shock of that size would send the economy toppling back into recession."

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