• 23 Apr 2014 at 1:40 PM

Ben Bernanke Has Regrets

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.

Bernanke Says Fed Actions Could Have Been Better Communicated to Public [WSJ]
Fed Looks Likely to Stick to Policy Path [WSJ]

8 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (8)

  1. Posted by omoh | April 23, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    I don't regret giving Shazars sister a fart hammer.

  2. Posted by Tantric Shaz | April 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    She prefers more tablecloth per square shlomo

  3. Posted by Activist Doomsayer | April 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Bernanke can say that now, but 15 years from now when the world still has zirp and we are still grinding our wheels to achieve nothing, he won't be talking about how he saved anything.

  4. Posted by Jeff Mackerel | April 23, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    He once saved a cat from a burning tree and then gave said cat to a cat molester.

  5. Posted by Captain Oblivious | April 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Was there a better idea at the time? I don't remember anyone piping up with anything clever. Where was Jim Cramer on this he always has good insight on the markets……

    BTW I would have mushroom stamped Shazar's sister

  6. Posted by The Bobs | April 23, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    What if – and believe me this is a hypothetical – but what if we did the capitalist thing (you know, that thing all us finance people talk about) and let the banks eat shit? Like, you know, not reward failure? Would that do anything for you?

  7. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Yeah, let AIG fail. Would have hurt a few rich people but the poor would have been ok because they still would have remained poor.

  8. Posted by Bam | April 23, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    It would have been great and cathartic.