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As nice it was to spend eight years saving the economy and testing the proposition that there are no stupid questions during sessions with various congressional committees, gentle Ben would just as soon trade them for the quiet times at Fisher Hall.
Although most of his comments were directed at the Fed’s moves that led to low policy rates and quantitative easing, he did allow himself some levity when asked on what his regrets were.
“Taking the job,” Mr. Bernanke initially said to a round of laughter.
He’ll be here all week. But seriously, the humble Beard—unlike the man who appointed him—would do a few things differently.
Asked what his main regrets were since leaving the Fed’s chairmanship, Mr. Bernanke said that, despite numerous television and print interviews, he would have liked to have done a better job telling the U.S. public that the Fed’s extraordinary measures were done for the greater good of the U.S. economy.
“It’s unfortunate,” Mr. Bernanke said. “It was important for us to convey to the public that the Fed’s actions were important to the broader economy.”
Mr. Bernanke also said the U.S. economy is making considerable progress in its recovery, and neither inflation nor deflation presented any major risks to U.S. growth.
Which means it’s a good thing that his former right-hand gal is staying the course.
Federal Reserve officials are on track to reduce their monthly bond buying to $45 billion at their policy meeting next week and stick with a communications approach that leaves investors guessing about when the central bank will start raising short-term interest rates.