The comments made by Ben Bernanke during November 2009 were released alongside a report into the reasons behind the global credit crisis by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
In a private interview with the commission, Mr Bernanke said "If you look at the firms that came under pressure in that period ... only one ... was not at serious risk of failure. Even Goldman Sachs, we thought there was a real chance that they would go under."
Mr Bernanke did not say which one from the 13 firms in the US was not at risk during the crisis.
The report, which was published at the same time as the comments, stated that the crisis could have been avoided if âkey policymakersâ had been more prepared and possessed a better understanding of the financial system
Phil Angelides, chairman of the commission, said: âDespite the expressed view of many on Wall Street and in Washington that the crisis could not have been foreseen or avoided, there were warning signs.
âThe greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done. If we accept this notion, it will happen again.â
Excessive borrowing by financial institutions and the Federal Reserveâs inability to contain the surge in toxic mortgages were also cited as reasons behind the crisis, the report revealed.