June 24, 2024

Economix: Do You Have a Question for Mr. Bernanke?

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Ben S. Bernanke at a Fed conference this month in Atlanta.Tami Chappell/Reuters Ben S. Bernanke at a Fed conference this month in Atlanta.

The Federal Reserve enters the age of television Wednesday afternoon. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will hold a news conference after the regular meeting of the Fed’s policy-making committee, breaking with the central bank’s tradition of issuing nothing more than a brief, carefully worded statement describing its decisions.

The Fed has made a policy of opacity since its founding in 1913. Congress carefully insulated the central bank from public pressure, and its leaders came to embrace the idea that a lack of clarity amplified its powers by keeping investors off balance.

But times have changed. As I wrote last month when the Fed announced that it would start holding news conferences, “The heated, widespread criticism of its response to the financial crisis has forced the Fed to a recognition that it is ultimately a political institution, and that it must do a better job of building public support.”

So on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m., Mr. Bernanke will make a brief opening statement to reporters gathered in a conference room on the top floor of the William McChesney Martin building. (Not the Fed’s grand headquarters, but the ugly — or Formalist, in the language of architects — modern building just behind it.)

Then he will take questions from reporters.

The event will be broadcast live on the Fed’s Web site and archived for later viewing. The major business networks, including CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg, all plan to cover the event and probably will show at least parts of it live.

I’ll be there and, hopefully, I’ll get to ask a question. So tell me, in the comments below: What should I ask? What would you most like to know?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=dedb6120791446f95539001a14f544e6

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