Breakingviews

Bernanke’s inaction, even if temporary, is welcome

August 29, 2011

Stock investors may have been briefly underwhelmed, but Ben Bernanke was right not to promise new easing in his speech in Jackson Hole on Friday.

Big banks don’t face daunting new world alone

March 13, 2012

Though U.S. lawmakers aimed much of their firepower at institutions deemed too big to fail, smaller lenders were caught in the crossfire. As the nation’s legions of community bankers gather in Nashville, they’ll grapple with similar regulatory and economic challenges.

Fed’s rising growth, falling inflation are wishful

April 25, 2012

The U.S. central bank sees a pick-up in growth even as the annual rise in prices declines from the current run-rate above the Fed’s 2 pct target. These trends aren’t apparent from recent data, and the Fed needs contingency plans if they don’t pan out so conveniently.

Fed’s approach to monetary policy looks Chinese

By Edward Hadas
September 14, 2012

Critics accuse the People’s Republic of using an artificially low exchange rate to promote job creation at home. Now the U.S. central bank says it will keep on stimulating until unemployment falls. The approach is the same, but the Fed’s domestic bias carries more global risks.

Bernanke’s star turn may win over Fed critics

April 27, 2011

Although the performance was impressive, Bernanke will need a long-running hit to make taking to the stage pay off.

Extra Fed transparency might keep Congress at bay

March 24, 2011

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke must know the unprecedented quarterly media briefings he is starting won't hurt the central bank's effectiveness. A bit more openness by the U.S. central bank might even help dissuade Congress from trying to exert more influence over monetary policy.

Difference between “and” and “or” could undo Fed

December 13, 2012

As well as saying it will buy more bonds, the U.S. central bank replaced its estimated duration for low interest rates with thresholds for the unemployment rate and inflation. If reality makes the two measures diverge, the new approach could prove rocky for markets.

Empowered GOP may have fun kicking Bernanke around

November 3, 2010

The newly empowered U.S. Republican Party may have fun kicking Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, around. Whether or not the party ends with control of the Senate, it will find budget cutting difficult and often unpopular. However as several regional Fed bank presidents -- along with many Republicans -- support tighter money it's easy to see a GOP Congress making sport of harassing the central bank chairman.

Bernanke fights phantom problem, ignores real one

August 27, 2010

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in his Jackson Hole speech on Friday he would fight deflation -- but he ignored the federal deficit. Even Japan has not experienced sustained deflation, while the U.S. deficit remains at record levels. Bernanke's diagnosis and treatment of a phantom disease are unlikely to produce faster growth.

Bernanke’s message: we can get out of this hole

August 26, 2010

We may not be in such a bad hole here but if we are, we can get out of it. That is likely to be the message from Ben Bernanke, the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, to bankers and policymakers at their annual powwow in comfortable Jackson Hole on Friday.