Tales from the Trail

from MacroScope:

Will Bernanke be reappointed?

  Policy-makers, academics and analysts from around the world are gathered at a remote lodge in Wyoming's Jackson Hole this week to reflect on the financial crisis.

    One of the topics of conversation on the sidelines of the conference is whether President Barack Obama will reappoint the chairman of the U.S. central bank -- Ben Bernanke -- whose term ends early next year.

    

    Two veteran Fed-watchers weigh in: 

    

GLENN HUBBARD, DEAN OF COLUMBIA'S GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

     "I think the bar for replacing Bernanke would have to be very high, in the middle of the crisis he has shown determination to take very bold action and his own knowledge has been very specific and helpful in the crisis."

    

MICKEY LEVY, CHIEF ECONOMIST, BANK OF AMERICA

   "From the Obama administration's point of view, he has done a lot right...financial markets have stabilized, in part due to the very aggressive actions by the Fed. I do think he'll be renominated and then once that occurs he faces just enormous challenges that go way beyond the traditional monetary policy discussions about inflation and economic growth."

The First Draft: chilly winds and hot air

There’s a cold wind blowing in Washington on Tuesday morning, one day after a late-winter storm dumped up to a foot of snow on the region. DC residents anticipate a thaw when our national leaders provide their daily dose of hot air. WEATHER-USA/SNOW

President Obama meets U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the White House at 11:30. They are expected to discuss their efforts to revive the global economy.

After that, Obama meets with Boy Scouts at 3 p.m.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies to Congress about the economy starting at 10:00, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies about Obama’s budget proposal at 12:30. Markets are continuing to swoon after yesterday’s plunge; will their testimony spark a rally?

The First Draft: Thursday, Nov. 4

They’re back, and this time they didn’t take the corporate jet. CEOs of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler will try again to wrangle billions of dollars in bailout money from Congress. This time, they drove from Detroit and they can explain they would do with the money. But they’ve also upped their request from $25 billion to $34 billion.
    
Testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee begins at 10 a.m.
    
The Labor Department will issue its weekly jobless claims report, and it’s not expected to be pretty. The numbers come out at 8:30 a.m. Futures markets point to a lower opening for U.S. stocks after drugmaker Merck offered a disappointing 2009 profit outlook.
    
Some of the government’s top financial officials speak today. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke talks about housing at 11:15, while Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair speaks at a consumer conference at 8:30 a.m.

President-elect Barack Obama has no public events today.
 

Remember George W. Bush? Yes, he’s still president. He lights the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House at 5 p.m.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Auto company CEOs testify in Congress)
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (National Christmas tree arrives at the White House)