Ben Bernanke, recently nominated to succeed Alan Greenspan as head of the Federal Reserve, pledged to carry on his interest-rate policies and to move toward more openness if the Senate confirms him for the job.

“With respect to monetary policy, I will make continuity with the policies and policy strategies of the Greenspan Fed a top priority,” Bernanke said in prepared remarks for the Senate Banking Committee at his confirmation hearing.

The nominee pledged to maintain the focus on long-term price stability “as monetary policy’s greatest contribution to general economic prosperity.”

Bernanke said monetary policy has become “increasingly transparent to the public and the financial markets” under Greenspan and that he supports this openness.

An example of the increased openness of the Fed under Greenspan is the written text released when the Board of Governors makes a decision, such as the recent series of hikes to the federal funds rate. For the last year, Greenspan, and hence the Fed, has raised short-term rates by a quarter percentage point at each of its last 12 meetings. Each time, the Fed released an explanation of the reasoning behind the decision.

“One possible step toward greater transparency would be for the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) to state explicitly the numerical inflation rate or range of inflation rates it considers to be consistent with the goal of long-term price stability,” Bernanke noted.

Though he thinks an explicit numerical inflation goal would be a step toward greater transparency, he said he wouldn’t take “precipitate,” or overly speedy, steps to make that change.

“Providing quantitative guidance about the meaning of ‘long-term price stability’ could have several advantages, including further reducing public uncertainty about monetary policy and anchoring long-term inflation expectations even more effectively,” Bernanke said.

The 51-year-old nominee is expected to be approved quickly. A former Princeton University professor who served as a Fed governor and is now President George W. Bush’s top economic adviser, Bernanke is widely considered one of the country’s top monetary scholars.

If the Senate approves his nomination, Bernanke would succeed Alan Greenspan, whose non-renewable term as chairman ends Jan. 31.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription