TEXT OF INTERVIEW
JEREMY HOBSON: Now let’s get to the prime time performance of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last night on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” He defended the Fed’s recent efforts to boost the economy against critics who warn those efforts will lead to inflation.
BEN BERNANKE: We’re not printing money. The amount of currency in circulation is not changing. The money supply is not changing in any significant way. What we’re doing is lowering interest rates by buying treasury securities and by lowering interest rates we hope to stimulate the economy to grow faster.
Let’s bring in Julia Coronado, chief economist at the Investment Bank BNP Paribas. She’s with us live. Good morning.
JULIA CORONADO: Good morning.
HOBSON: So the Fed Chief was speaking to at least two audiences. First what was he trying to say to the investors who follow his every word whether he’s speaking on “60 Minutes” or at some economic forum in Frankfurt. What was he saying to them?
CORONADO: His message to investors was that the Fed has a lot of commitment and a strong resolve to completing this policy. And possibly even extending this policy. Given all the controversy around it, some investors had begun to wonder whether the Fed would even complete the $600 billion purchase that the announced. I think Chairman Bernanke was saying we definitely are, and we might even do more.
HOBSON: Now what about the American Public? This is a prime time show, it’s watched by millions of people, “60 Minutes,” many of whom probably don’t pay much attention to what the Fed chairman does on a daily basis. What was he saying to the American public?
CORONADO: Again, I think what he was trying to do is cut through the political rhetoric a little bit and get his message directly to consumers who ultimately it is consumer’s confidence in the recovery that will determine the success of the policy. So his message is he’s very worried about the labor market situation. The Fed is on the case. They’re going to do all that they think that they need to do to support the recovery and I think he was just trying to show some strong leadership and send a reassuring message that the Fed is focused on what people about, which is the weak labor market.
HOBSON: Julia Coronado, chief economist at the Investment Bank BNP Paribas, thanks as always for your time.
CORONADO: It’s my pleasure.
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