Wisdom from Ben Bernanke's Baccalaureate address at Princeton

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies during a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee May 22, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

You've got your graduation speeches, and then you've got your graduation speeches. Depending on the speaker, some are forgettable, some not so much.

Over the weekend, Ben Bernanke went back to Princeton to give the Baccalaureate address. No hints about when interest rates are gonna go up. Or what the Fed's gonna do about unemployment.

Just a little wisdom:

Life is amazingly unpredictable; any 22-year-old who thinks he or she knows where they will be in 10 years, much less in 30, is simply lacking imagination. Look what happened to me: A dozen years ago, I was minding my own business teaching Economics 101 in Alexander Hall and trying to think of good excuses for avoiding faculty meetings. Then I got a phone call.

And look at him now.

As the Gospel of Luke says (and I am sure my rabbi will forgive me for quoting the New Testament in a good cause): "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded" (Luke 12:48, New Revised Standard Version Bible). Kind of grading on the curve, you might say.

It was a nice little speech, actually. Read the whole thing here or watch it below.

Remarks by Ben S. Bernanke from Princeton University on Vimeo.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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