Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, held his first full-fledged news conference yesterday. Others are expected to follow every quarter or so.
The decision is a good one. The Fed needs demystifying. Answering questions from reporters in front of television cameras will help the public better understand how the economy works, knowledge which will allow those who pay attention to discount the ill-founded statements of demagogues and ideologues.
Bernanke was a college professor when he was appointed to the Federal Reserve. It is his habit to speak carefully and to base his opinions on facts. He is therefore loath to try to see far into the economic future.