At a Washington press conference earlier this year, a journalist quizzed the Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke about his future role as the US central bank’s exit from its current, unprecedented, monetary policy stance. As you would expect, Mr Bernanke gave away little, but he did make it clear that he felt he was not the only person who could manage that exit.
A credible field of candidates has indeed emerged, should Mr Bernanke choose to step down as expected in January. One thing is clear already: whoever they turn out to be, the chairman – or chairwoman – of the Fed over the coming years will be judged, above all else, on how successfully they manage to steer monetary policy back to something resembling normality. Continue reading »