This is something I think we really have to pay close attention to, Bernanke said on Monday at a press conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington, where he is a senior fellow.
Even if financial problems don't begin an episode, over time, if the episode makes financial conditions worse, they can add to the problem and intensify it.
So that's something I think we really have to pay close attention to," Bernanke said.
He talked about worries worldwide even if the US financial system is in better health than it was before the late 2000s global crisis.
For instance, the Russian invasion of Ukraine might put financial institutions under strain in Europe by cutting off natural gas shipments.
While emerging markets "are facing a very high dollar and a lot of capital outflows," he warned.