The lessons learned from the Great Depression were useful in preventing "an even worse cataclysm" that could have resulted from the recent financial crisis, Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke said last week.

"In the current episode, in contrast to the 1930s, policymakers around the world worked assiduously to stabilize the financial system," Bernanke said late Thursday at the Alexander Hamilton Awards dinner, according to prepared text released by the Fed. "As a result, although the economic consequences of the financial crisis have been painfully severe, the world was spared an even worse cataclysm that could have rivaled or surpassed the Great Depression."

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.