NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday delivered his final prepared speech as head of the central bank as he reflected on his tenure and what rests ahead for the U.S. economy.
Bernanke, who in 2006 succeeded Alan Greenspan to the post of chairman and is roundly credited for helping to save the U.S. financial system from collapsing in 2008, said the U.S. economy has made "considerable progress" since the recovery began four and a half years ago.
"The U.S. recovery appears to be somewhat ahead of those of most other advanced industrial economies," Bernanke said, according to prepared remarks at the Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia, PA. "Nevertheless, I see some grounds for cautious optimism abroad as well."
Bernanke is expected to step down at the end of his term, which expires this month, and would be succeeded by Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen, should the U.S. Senate confirm her nomination. Yellen is expected to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Monday.
Despite the credit heaped upon Bernanke for saving the U.S. economy, the Fed chairman concluded his speech by saying that the Fed's unprecedented actions since the 2008 financial crisis took a body of individuals to set the policy in motion.
"I am very proud of my colleagues at the Fed for the hard work and creativity they have brought to bear in addressing the financial and economic crisis, and I think we and they have been well served by a culture that emphasizes objective, expert analysis; professionalism; dedication; and independence from political influence," Bernanke said, according to the prepared remarks.