Thursday, May 04, 2006
Was it a slip or a plant ?
A lesson for Fed Chairman Bernanke * And the President extols his tax cuts
A black-tie affair, a few drinks, an attractive woman reporter. Not too hard to imagine that Chairman Bernanke loosened up and said something he shouldn't have. On the other hand, there are those who feel that it was a deliberate plant. At the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner on March 29th, during a conversation with CNBC reporter Maria Bartiromo, the Fed Chairman said his comments before the Senate Finance Committee were misinterpreted by the financial community. From Bloomberg.com: "Bernanke, who became Fed chairman in February, told the Congress's Joint Economic Committee on April 27 that the Fed may suspend the increases even if economic risks are tilted toward faster inflation. Policy makers meet to decide borrowing costs next week.
- ``We were swept off our feet'' by CNBC's report of Bernanke's comments, said Richard Franulovich, a currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in New York. ``Bernanke is still easing his way into the role and learning what he can and can't say, and to whom. He won't be speaking off the cuff to media people again. He's probably learned a lesson.''
- Taking a partisan turn, the president mocked Democrats who had opposed his tax cuts and had warned that they would lead to economic disaster. "The Democrats' record of pessimism has been consistent: It's been consistently wrong," Bush said to loud applause.
- "But the decisions taken now inevitably will cause politicians in the future to confront difficult choices -- a trade-off that Bush did not acknowledge in his speech.