Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did not comment on the U.S. economy or monetary policy in a speech about emerging markets on Wednesday.
Bernanke instead focused on the broad lessons that can be learned from the experience of the developing world, arguing that opening up financial markets too quickly had proven a dangerous exercise.
Measures to strengthen banks and bank regulation should be put in place before the domestic market is opened to capital flows from abroad, Bernanke said at an event in Ohio.
Bernanke added that despite the success of many emerging countries in driving growth through exports, such a model has its shortcomings.
Generating trade surpluses by suppressing domestic demand defeats the ultimate purpose of economic growth -- improving the lot of the country's own citizens, he said.
U.S. lawmakers often criticize China for what they say is its effort to keep its yuan currency artificially low to boost exports.
(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)