I was watching Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, on C-Span this morning – a video of his last Wednesday economy & monetary policy talk. Several thoughts that came to mind:
1. As he was reading his entire speech, just hand it out and skip the oral presentation. Give a summary, tell people where the entire speech can be found on the internet, and go to the questions which are more interesting.
2. Should also provide the individual votes or opinions of the individual Federal Reserve members, not just the majority view.
3. The information is too broad and lacks specifics. Example, don’t say unemployment is doing better than he expected without discussing specifics including full-time v. part-time, less than 30 hours per week, less than 25 hours per week, etc., pay and benefits.
4. Should also provide assumptions, estimates and the background information upon which the opinions are based.
5. Why does he only give opinions for 2013, 2014 and 2016?
6. Overall, what does he think it all means – talking plain English? Doesn’t the US public deserve better information? Transparency? He keeps saying he cannot be more specific about this and that – really?
7. As I am a lawyer, I would like to see a similar discussion about the legal market – so that law students and current lawyers can perhaps better plan their careers. What is the market for legal services in different practice areas expected to be in 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, more years by geographic region?
8. Same for healthcare, for example – as healthcare and changes to healthcare are so much in the news, and healthcare is such a significant part of the economy, and healthcare is so expensive for individuals and families and their budgets and long-term planning, and since the government, both federal and state, is so involved in healthcare, mandates and penalties or punishments, I would like and would expect to see similar discussions about healthcare now, and expectations in 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, and more years.
Have a great Sunday.