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Straight from the horse's mouth

Business Times - 29 Apr 2011


Straight from the horse's mouth

Bernanke holds his first-ever press conference as Fed head

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

NOT unlike other top players in Washington, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, dressed in a business suit and red tie, was the cool and calm Master of the Spin, massaging the media and staying on message during what could only be described as a historic event: for the first time in the Fed's 97-year history, the head of the US central bank was holding a press conference on Wednesday and answering reporters' questions.

Against the backdrop of high rates of unemployment and rising commodity prices, one could have expected the Fed chairman to be facing a bunch of tough and probing reporters who would be pressing the head of the central bank to explain whether he had failed in carrying out the two central duties of the Fed: maintaining stable prices, and maximum employment.

But not to worry. Unlike many of the somewhat rud…