On Wednesday, April 25, Ben Bernanke gave his scheduled press conference.
Here are Ben Bernanke’s comments I found most notable, in the order they appear in the transcript, although I don’t necessarily agree with them. These comments are excerpted from the “Transcript of Chairman Bernanke’s Press Conference“(preliminary)(pdf) of April 25, 2012, with accompanying economic projections (pdf).
Bernanke’s responses as indicated to the various questions:
Thank you Mr. Chairman, Darren Gersh, Nightly Business Report: Some of your critics, I’m sure you’re not going to be surprised think that you’re still being too cautious that unemployment is still high, the economy may be slowing, inflation is subdued, but I know you just talked about the balance sheet. But given that, is the Committee now any closer to QE3 than it was at its last meeting?
Chairman Bernanke: Well first, the Committee has certainly been bold and aggressive in terms of easing monetary policy. We’ve maintained the Federal Funds Rate close to zero since late 2008. We’ve had two rounds of so-called quantitative easing. We’ve had a Maturity Extension Program which is ongoing. We have offered a guidance about the Federal Funds Rate that goes into at least late 2014. So we had been very accommodative and we remained prepared to do more as needed to make sure that this recovery continues and that inflation stays close to target. So in particular, we will continue to assess, you
know, looking at the economic outlook, looking at the risk, whether or not unemployment is making sufficient progress towards this longer run, normal level, and whether inflation is remaining close to target. And if appropriate and depending also on assessment of the costs and risks of additional policy actions, we are–remained entirely prepared to take additional balance sheet actions if necessary to achieve our objectives. So those tools remain very much on the table and we will not hesitate to use them should the economy require that additional support.