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The Hearing Poll: Vote on Which Question Bernanke Should Answer

Or, post your own question in the comments section below.

By Sara Goo  |  May 5, 2009; 6:02 AM ET
Categories:  The Hearing Poll  
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Next: Staying the Course . . . Toward 1990s Japan?


How is "quantitative easing" and "monetizing the debt" improving US personal consumption?

Posted by: booke | May 5, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

What are we doing which will ensure that this won't happen again?

Posted by: nickbp | May 5, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I would like to know how it is that Citigroup and BofA are still buying AAA tranches of nonprime MBS. As brought out in an excellent WSJ article today by Matthew Richardson and Nouriel Roubini "its incredible that there are no restrictions against it."

Posted by: finally1 | May 5, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Question 1:

With the eletronic acceleration of money, has the role of private debt in sustaining the money supply fundamentally changed in the past several decades? Does the Fed need more instruments in managing private debt load?

Posted by: StatsGuy | May 5, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Question 2:

Perhaps are now we far enough through this crisis that we can begin to comment on its causes... If so, and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, what could the Fed have done differently and when?

What implications does this have for future Fed policy, and the institutional framework that governs Fed policy?

Posted by: StatsGuy | May 5, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Question 3:

Some analyses, including from the Fed, have suggested that the Taylor Rule implies a -5% Fed funds rate.

Assuming the Fed wanted to target a -5% effective rate, how might the Fed go about doing so in today's world? What about tomorrow's world?

Posted by: StatsGuy | May 5, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The current environment seems fertile for speculative attacks on banks, in particular those identified by the stress tests to be released Thursday as particularly distressed.

(1) Given what you know about the stress test results, what do you expect Friday's headlines on banks will be?

(2) How do you assess the risk of speculative attacks on particular banks, and associated "domino" effects on other financial institutions?

(3) What resources do the Federal Reserve and other regulators have at hand to curb such speculative excesses whenever they might occur?

Posted by: e-veblen | May 5, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

1) Is the Fed willing to implement BOTH sides of the countercyclical monetary policy mandate? IE - will the Fed try to start "popping" asset class bubbles?

2) How will the Fed go about reducing the size of its own balance sheet when all is said and done?

3) What is the Fed's opinion on government subsidation of date? (tax deductibility of mortgage interest, corporate bond interest, etc.)

4) What will happen to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

5) How can we prevent too big to fail from existing in the future?

6) Should Glass-Steagall be reinstated?

7) How can the Fed adapt its policy arsenal to address interntaional financial regimes? IE, you tried your best to raise short term rates from 2004-2007 to help dampen the housing/debt bubble. However, your efforts were undermined by the "global savings glut" - cash rich Asian and Middle Eastern investors bid up long term treasuries and kep the yield curve inverted. Fed funds rate was at 5.75...but longer term rates were lower than that. What can you do to address this situation going forward? (or should you do anything about it?)

Posted by: CoffeeBoy | May 5, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

What repairs do you consider to be essential in shoring up the foundation of our financial system? And when do we begin to initiate these repairs?

In other words, what measures must the financial sector and the government take to ensure that the Treasury Secretary of the United States never again has to go before the public and say "if we do not prop up the financial system with trillions of dollars, our economy will collapse"?

One more question: What can be done to ensure that financial companies do not become "too big" to be subject to traditional market forces?

(I loathe the phrase "too big to fail" because it is like saying the Titanic was too big to sink - calling these companies "too big to fail" disregards the fact that they've actually failed in ways that sunk the economy of the country.)

Posted by: anne3 | May 5, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Many banks have raised interest rates on short term loans recently. Most cite the rising cost of capital due to the interest charged for TARP funds, rising CDS on debt, and competition in the CD Rate Market for deposits. These do not seem to justify the 5.5% - 6% floor even relatively healthy banks are charging for loans. Do you support these floors that seems to counteract your efforts to keep short term loan cost low? Or do see these as healthy banks exploiting their monopoly on lending?

Posted by: SamSimpson | May 5, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Bagehot wrote that during a liquidity crisis, central banks should lend freely against good collateral at a penalty rate.

("Freely" because you must never starve a panic; "against good collateral" to avoid taking on credit risk; and "at a penalty rate" to prevent moral hazard.)

I see the free lending. One might argue about the quality of the collateral, but we'll let that slide.

My question is: Whatever happened to the penalty rate? Why are the Fed's liquidity provision facilities being offered at near-zero rates of interest?

Is the intent truly to "ease credit conditions", or is it to perform a back-door recapitalization of the banking system?

Posted by: _Nemo_ | May 5, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Since we made the huge mistake of allowing banks to become "too big too fail," why don't we truly nationalize them now that they are failing?

Posted by: bkfried | May 5, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

1. What in your mind was the greatest lesson from the demise of Long Term Capital?
2. Do you feel the Federal Reserve learned anything from it?
3. If so, what?
4. Might having let LTCM fail have caused a greater discussion of oversight and regulation in Congress?

Posted by: DesolationRow | May 5, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse


Why haven't you asked every member of Congress to inform Treasury of how much money they have received from the world's 10 largest Banks?

Posted by: BringingMyPitchfork | May 5, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Question #2 and,

What do you see as the main elements of a viable and responsible U.S. financial sector for the future?

When can we bein introducing such elements into the system?

Posted by: athomas80 | May 6, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Would you agree to open the books of the Federal Reserve to an independent audit? If not, then why not? Do you not believe that the public has a right to know exactly who is getting the benefits of taxpayer dollars and how much profit is being made by the individual banks who own the Federal Reserve?

Posted by: dena_mcpherson | May 6, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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