Ben S. Bernanke is tightening his control of Federal Reserve communications to ensure investors hear his pro-stimulus message over the cacophony of more hawkish views from regional bank presidents.
The Fed chairman, starting tomorrow, will cut the time between the release of post-meeting statements by the Federal Open Market Committee and his news briefings, giving investors less opportunity to misperceive the Fed’s intent. In recent presentations, he has pledged to sustain easing, defending $85 billion in monthly bond purchases during congressional testimony last month and warning that “premature removal of accommodation” may weaken the expansion.
“Bernanke rightly views it as imperative to get out in front of any movement to quickly pull away from stimulus, and to signal that to markets,” said Jonathan Wright, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who worked at the Fed’s division of monetary affairs from 2004 until 2008. Bernanke “felt he needed to take the wheel” of communications to dispel any misperception that the Fed will end bond purchases too soon.
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