TEXT OF STORY
KAI RYSSDAL: What we really ought to do here is just pull out the tape of the show from a month and a half ago, because there was a certain amount of deja vu all over again this morning. The chairman of the Federal Reserve went up to Capitol Hill and he said some not-so-promising things about the economy.
BEN BERNANKE: A critical task for the Federal Reserve over the course of this year will be to assess whether the stance of policy is properly calibrated to foster our mandated objectives of maximum employment and price stability in an environment of downside risks to growth, stressed financial conditions and inflation pressures.
Allow me to parse, if I might. When he said “stance of monetary policy” that means he’s still deciding whether or not to cut interest rates, although he gave every indication today that he will — maybe. We called economist Brian Bethune, at the research firm Global Insight, to get his take.
BRIAN BETHUNE: He’s not promising that the Fed will reduce rates, but he’s also sending a message to the markets that he’s not dissuading the markets from the current view, which is that the Fed will cut rates on March 18 by 50 basis points.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.