Friday, March 13, 2009

First Time in 20 Years: Fed Chair Gives Interview

60 Minutes begins its Sunday broadcast (7 p.m. ET) with an exclusive look into a governmental process normally kept private. For the first time in 20 years, a sitting Federal Reserve chairman gives an interview. One of the government's leaders in the battle to save America's economy, Ben Bernanke, tells 60 Minutes what he thinks went wrong with America's financial system, how it caused our economic crisis, what the Federal Reserve is doing to help fix it and when he expects the crippling recession to end.

Chairman Bernanke talks about the failure of Lehman Brothers, the rescue plan for AIG and the Fed's extraordinary actions taken since the beginning of the economic crisis. The Fed chairman also discusses how regulation might change in the future in this double-length segment.


At 3/13/2009 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not much of a surprise to me. This is the first time in 20 years, they say, that a Fed Chairman has given an interview. I believe that Bernanke is doing it for two important reasons.

The first one, obviously, is to discuss the financial crisis to the general public, and try to provide some reassurance...which Obama has failed to do every time he opens his mouth and uses awful adjectives to describe how bad it is. So, Bernanke, I believe, is trying to engender confidence.

Secondly, a major element of explicit inflation targeting (unlike Greenspan's obfuscation in his implicit inflation targeting regime) is to increase transparency through communication with the public and market participants concerning plans, objectives and the decision making process.

I think that Bernanke wants to make monetary policy more accountable (he reduced the waiting time for Fed minutes to be published after FOMC meetings) and less about the rockstar economist persona of the Fed Chairman. Bernanke is correct in his desire to make policymaking decisions based on data and outcomes, rather than Greenspan's gut feelings and his 'Maestro' like personality to make everything alright.

At 3/13/2009 2:39 PM, Blogger Jeff Herron said...

This will be an interesting rejoinder to John Stossel's 20/20 piece on Friday, 3/13.

I tend to agree more with Stossel's findings. I think the Fed caused these problems, and the best thing they can do to "help" would be to get out of the way. But I'll give Mr. Bernanke a listen and see if what he says makes sense.

At 3/13/2009 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great analysis Pingry, you said exactly what I was going to say. There's been a real lack of leadership and someone has to fill it if we're going to fully recover.

At 3/13/2009 3:01 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

Hopefully this goes better than the now famous Jim Cramer interview on the Daily Show.

At 3/13/2009 6:18 PM, Blogger marketdoc said...

The key word here is "confidence." The public, and financial markets, in particular, have not yet placed much confidence in Chairman Bernanke since his appointment.

At 3/13/2009 6:32 PM, Blogger bix1951 said...

Cramer should resign!

I hope Bernanke says they are going to regulate hedge funds. They have a lot to answer for. This isn't the first time. Remember LONGTERM CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
Too many secrets.
B.M. could do it because of lack of regulation
Regulation is not such a bad thing.
Truth is good and so is honesty. Secrets are not that good.

At 3/16/2009 8:27 PM, Blogger KO said...

Bernanke has to get out there. Geithner comes off like he has no idea what he's doing. In the meeting with the finance ministers from around the world, it looks like one of the assistants snuck into the photo ops.


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