The Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank is a man who holds considerable power in the world of global finance. The current Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is in the hot seat again on Wednesday when he speaks at the National Bureau of Economic Research Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After the release of the minutes from the most recent policy meeting, Mr. Bernanke will address the conference on three main issues. These being the Federal Reserve Bank’s policy record, the information that has been gained from the first one hundred years of central banking in the US and most importantly the prospects for the future.
Bernanke will be well aware of the impact his attitude and words can have on the markets. Earlier, in June, there were serious jitters in some markets at the end of the last policy meeting and a significant downturn in those markets after a press conference held by Mr. Bernanke.
Bernanke’s monetary policy at the Federal Reserve Bank has not been the most conventional. The economy has been spurred on by low interest rates that have made inroads into restoring the housing market, increasing consumer spending and raising equity prices. Economists are still advising caution but many have some very positive things to say about the economy moving forward. Gross Domestic Product or GDP is the benchmark figure for growth in the economy and it is expected to have increased by around 2.5%. The numbers out of work has remained flat and inflation at 1%. These should be some heartening numbers for the markets and investors.
It looks like Mr. Bernanke will paint a reasonably pretty picture of the economy