I haven’t done this in a while, so, it might be fun.
All entries will be in reverse chronological order and all times are Eastern Standard. Since we don’t get CSPAN3 here, I’m watching it on Bloomberg TV and, my guess is that I’ll quickly fall behind and hit the pause button in order to type (I suppose real pros don’t need a pause button to do this).
BTW – Lots of tables and charts on the Fed’s economic projections and guidance can be found here.
3:13 – Gotta hand it to Trish Regan at Bloomberg as Bernanke was walking off the stage. She said, “everything we’ve heard from the Fed this time around, we’ve already heard before”. Well put.
3:11 – Wow. That’s it. Time flies when you’re listening and typing.
3:09 – Someone from Bloomberg asked if names could be attached to all the projections and what concerns him most about the recovery. He says they’ll look into this and that the labor market and fiscal issues concern him most.
3:07 – He emphasized that the last part about the labor market was a hypothesis, not a projection.
3:04 – Someone from the LA Times asked about the weather – whether it pulled demand forward and made the winter months artificially strong. Bernanke’s crew is doing their best to understand this and be able to interpret it correctly. He reiterated his view that recent job gains might be disappointing in the months ahead but that not too much should be made of the weak March labor report.
3:01 – A question about a “bond bubble” and Sheila Bair’s commentary that recommended the Fed declare victory and start raising interest rates. BS says that would be “premature”.
2:59 – A good question about quantity vs. flows in relation to the Fed’s balance sheet to which Bernanke responds, it’s the former that is most important, so, ending “Operation Twist” shouldn’t have an impact on bond yields.
2:56 – Another question on too-big-to-fail and another answer that sounded like he was running for office.
2:55 – Greg Ip of The Economist (he interviewed me about five six years ago when he was at the Wall Street Journal and people were just starting to realize Greenspan wasn’t a god). He asked three relatively complex questions and Bernanke kind of blew him off. Bernanke sounds more and more like a politician.
2:51 – I’m about 6 minutes behind… Stocks are up 1 or 2 percent , oil is up 50 cents, gold is up $2.
2:47 – Gregg Robb from MarketWatch asked about too-big-to-fail (maybe prompted by last night’s PBS documentary). Bernanke says it’s “absolutely incumbent upon us to eliminate too-big-to-fail”. Sure. Does anyone believe this – Citi, JPMorgan, BofA, Goldman are his bosses.
2:45 – This is actually a lot easier than just watching one of these press conferences as they just seem to go on and on, kind of putting you to sleep.
2:43 PM – Someone asked about inflation targeting. He referenced uber-dove Janet Yellen’s recent paper about such. Apparently, it’s all good.
2:40 PM – Josh from Bloomberg asked about economic growth projections and why they’ve been downgraded. Bernanke says housing market, financial stresses are headwinds and that fiscal problems later this year may have influenced this as well.
2:36 PM – Pretty surprising so far – markets don’t seem to be moving much at all.
2:32 PM – Someone from Reuters asked whether his views about the “zero bound” problem from 10 years ago are consistent with his policy today (per Krugman’s commentary today). Bernanke says it’s all about deflation – no deflation, then no really crazy monetary policy, just regular crazy policy.
2:28 PM – CNBC’s Steve Liesman just asked a question. Fast forwarding to Bernanke’s answer – “the committee is comfortable with the statement they put out”. (Must have had something to do with dissension within the policy committee).
2:24 PM – John Hilsenrath of the WSJ asked the second question about inflation (Bernanke says not to worry).
2:22 PM – Whatever that first question was, I missed it.