The Great Debate UK
By James Pethokoukis
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
WASHINGTON -- The curtain finally went up on Ben Bernanke's one-man show. It was full of high drama. Just one flubbed line by the embattled star could have sent markets heading for the exits. And although the performance was impressive, Bernanke will need a long-running hit to make taking to the stage pay off.
Such theatrics are common in Europe, but the hour-long televised press conference by the central bank chief was a first for America. The press corps was so eager and twitchy before showtime that a cup of water placed on the lectern triggered the furious firing of camera shutters.
Bernanke entered stage left -- costumed in a red-patterned tie -- promptly at 2:15 p.m. and took a seat center stage. Act One pretty much stuck to the script, reiterating the day's statement from the Federal Open Market Committee with some added economic projections.