In a move that I think is long overdue, the Fed announced that chairman Ben Bernanke will hold press briefings four times per year:

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will hold press briefings four times per year to present the Federal Open Market Committee’s current economic projections and to provide additional context for the FOMC’s policy decisions.

In 2011, the Chairman’s press briefings will be held at 2:15 p.m. following FOMC decisions scheduled on April 27, June 22 and November 2. The briefings will be broadcast live on the Federal Reserve’s website. For these meetings, the FOMC statement is expected to be released at around 12:30 p.m., one hour and forty-five minutes earlier than for other FOMC meetings.

The introduction of regular press briefings is intended to further enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy communication. The Federal Reserve will continue to review its communications practices in the interest of ensuring accountability and increasing public understanding.

To the extent this will provide clarity to the Fed’s policy statement and reduce the guesswork involved in deciphering it, I believe this is a very positive development.

Category: Current Affairs, Federal Reserve

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14 Responses to “Save the Date: Ben to Hold Regular Pressers”

  1. John says:

    Barry,

    “To the extent this will provide clarity to the Fed’s policy statement and reduce the guesswork involved in deciphering it, I believe this is a very positive development.” I agree. But the MSM is generally too ignorant to do this job.

  2. It will be interesting to see if this is indeed useful (ie, will he answer questions? will other board members speak to the press, will it reveal dissenting opinions?)

    Or will it really be a PR exercise meant to shore up his political position which has taken more than a bit of a battering….

    Transparency is a positive, if indeed it is about transparency rather than PR…

  3. obsvr-1 says:

    Agree, if this is a FED press briefing and Q&A it may be a useful process for a bit more transparency, ONLY if there is a Q&A with intelligent and probing questions asked (and answered). Otherwise it will be YABBGS (Yet Another Ben Bernanke Gab Session).

  4. riffraff says:

    Why does he need to “provide clarity to the Fed’s policy statement?” Shouldn’t the statement simply be written clearer?

    I see it as merely “providing clarify” to the ego of someone with, incredibly, an ego larger than his predecessor’s….

  5. b_thunder says:

    “…to further enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy communication.” – this is very much opposite of Greenspan. And what the heck is happening with Fed’s so much valued “independence?” Wouldn’t Ben B. have to answer all sorts of non-monetary questions, and by doing so he’d have to become “political?”

    Bottom line, this is done with sole purpose to slow down the “end the Fed’s secrecy” movement. I also do not expect Ben to admin that QE a form of money-printing, but on a grand scale, nor do I expect him to know the prices for groceries (similar to his #2 Dudley.)

  6. Kris Dannon says:

    Looks like the first one will be be held April 27, and even though more communication may bring more certainty and less volatility especially around announcement time, there is likely little reason to get too excited. The Fed may use it merely to put more spin on the reasoning behind Fed decisions and policies.

  7. ZackAttack says:

    He should add a short segment at the end in which he shares his iPad recipes. Cooking shows are all the rage, you know.

  8. rip says:

    I’d say it’s a PR drill. Rehearsed and controlled.

    If he could he’d stay hidden in the ivy walls of Wall Street.

  9. Truthsayer says:

    Coincidence? The SUPREME Court rules the Treasury must provide docs showing who got bailed out and doled out (Thank you Bloomberg) and now a series of Press Conferences…please…just more smoke and mirrors. This will be like hearing Obama speak….double talk and promises mixed in with a dabble of lies.

  10. jjay says:

    If he is asked any serious questions he will dodge them, and that reporter will be banned in the future.
    We all know what his job is, ZIRP to punish savers, free money for the giant corporations.
    And if any bets placed by the Wall St. criminals go bad, dump them on the taxpayers.
    The real question in all this is, how does Ben keep a straight face when telling bold lies to the press?
    Greenspan always had a half smirk on his mug when he talked in circles, Ben does a better job of acting concerned about the economy.

  11. ToNYC says:

    The BenBernank is placeholder to allow the bank monopoly to continue to arrange their escape from bad paper. The proof of his incompetence? When Ron Paul asked him to define the Dollar. The fail began talking about the “dual mandate”. When a player goes for his weakest point; he puts up the flag of defeat.
    The “interest rates will remain extraordinarily low for an extended period” only means that your life savings in cash means nothing (first step toward extermination is ostracism) since they make it up in virtual digits that represent the bankruptcy of their evolution. No longer is the bank monopoly a utility to employ our capital as the re-investment of any customers real stored deferred consumption; it is a protection racket bent on serial hostage and extortion protocols.

  12. dead hobo says:

    I watched “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” on TV a few weeks ago and, for some reason, this post reminded me of it. For those who don’t know, this movie is the biography of Chuck Barris. He invented the Newlywed Game, the Dating Game and, my favorite, the Gong Show. He also maintained a sideline business as a trained CIA assassin, according to the movie.

    I would love to see Ben Bernanke do these press conferences, but in character as Chuck Barris on a Gong Show set. Add the same music, Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, and the Unknown Comic as supporting cast and you will have some memorable monetary theory and policy. QE1, QE1.5, and QE2 all bring Gong Show regalia to the equity and commodity markets. Japan’s $500B monetary dump makes me think of fat ladies singing and shaking their hips. PIMCO’s guest appearances add variety.

    Well, regardless, most people will see BB droning on. I will be watching the same thing but putting it in a Gong Show context. I bet it works.

  13. Ivan71 says:

    The only questions allowed to be asked will be softballs.

    End the Fed.

  14. Greg0658 says:

    LOL – thanks for the memories – “Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, and the Unknown Comic” :-) … Larry Summers as Gene Gene (maybe w/black face) and Timmy Geithner inside the paper bag … they could resell the CSpan retrans rights and make a real profit