The job market stinks, the economy's a mess,
But guess who showed up to give an address?
Bernanke, at New York's econ club yesterday,
And the head of the Fed had a lot to say.

In the beginning...
Ben started off with a note on the past,
A past that we often forget all too fast.
It was three years ago when the markets fell out --
When the whole world wallowed in financial doubt.

The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) sank 50 percent;
The Dow (DJINDICES:^DJI) dropped to 7,000, its heydays spent.
But Ben dug deeper than the stock market drop
To figure out this economy's flop.

At the root of the problem were bad mortgage debts,
Made all the worse by bad mortgage bets.
And although Ben believes that the worst is through,
There's still a whole lot of fixing to do.

Recessions from housing booms and a bust
Tend to leave loads of unsettled dust.
History shows that with crises like these,
Mr. Market is hard to appease.

Inflation and jobs
Inflation is fine at its 2% rate;
On this front, at least, there's little debate.
Unemployment, however, is no pretty sight;
It hasn't dropped far from its 10% height.

With rates at eight and no jobs to be found,
Labor is far from an econ rebound.
Long-term unemployment's a chronic disease,
Which three rounds of QE have done little to ease.

Part-time jobs and workforce depression
Have only worsened our current recession.
(NYSE: ALU) laid off thousands last month,
And another 10,000 could soon join that bunch

Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) cut 4% of its team,
Hoping a buyout could be more than a dream.
's (NYSE:F) cutting back on its Europe division --
A depressingly easy financial decision.

Boeing's (NYSE:BA) breakups begin at the top:
A third of its managers just got the chop
's (NYSE:HPQ) demise might just trump them all --
A sign of how quickly the mighty can fall.

Something's fiscally fishy
But don't let the companies bear all the blame;
The government, too, plays the job-killing game,
Cutting 60,000 jobs since 2008 --
Hardly a number to celebrate.

Ben spoke of his hope for future spending,
And stimulus efforts to help the mending.
The Fed's hands are tied with this low interest rate;
Monetary measures carry little weight.

Federal programs could boost GDP,
But the fiscal cliff could threatens productivity.
Congress' failure to reach some concession
Would push us back into economic recession

Thinking ahead
On timely assistance, Bernanke was firm,
But the problems we face are also long-term.
While Ben demands a deficit limit increase,
He admits that spending growth needs to cease.

No Operation Twist can fix our nation's debt,
And as short-term turns long-term, there's cause to fret.
Ben stressed once again that rates will stay low,
Increasing investment in this Fed Chair's main show.

He's calling on lenders, even in the EU,
To believe that America's worst days are through.
With housing rebounding and GDP growth steady,
He's hoping investors are finally ready.

The way to recovery has been slow and unclear,
But Bernanke, at least, thinks it's downhill from here.
The momentum is there, and jobs will appear --
If Congress can handle its fiscal-cliff fear.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.