Bernanke jokes about own future in Princeton commencement speech

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to opening remarks before testifying at the Joint Economic Committee in Washington May 22, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to opening remarks before testifying at the Joint Economic Committee in Washington May 22, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Never believe Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t have a sense of humor.

“I wrote recently to inquire about the status of my leave from the university, and the letter I got back began, ‘Regrettably, Princeton receives many more qualified applicants for faculty positions than we can accommodate,’” Bernanke said in remarks prepared for delivery on Sunday to new Princeton University graduates in his commencement speech.

“Note to journalists: This is a joke,” said a footnote attached to the text provided to reporters.

Behind the joke, and Bernanke’s care in making sure journalists didn’t miss it, is the mounting obsession over who may take charge of U.S. monetary policy for the world’s largest economy after January 31, 2014, when Bernanke’s second term expires.

Bernanke has said little about his future at the Fed, where he took over as chairman in 2006.

Talk that he is reluctant to accept a third term has been swirling for months, and speculation that he plans to leave the post got a boost in late April when the Fed confirmed he will skip the annual Jackson Hole monetary policy symposium in August due to a scheduling conflict.

Bernanke’s absence would mark the first time in 25 years that a Fed chairman has not attended the conference, which draws top central bankers from around the world and is periodically used as a setting to preview important policy shifts.

Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen is most often mentioned as his likely successor.

Bernanke, who led the Fed’s response to the financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed, taught economics at Princeton before joining the Fed Board of Governors in 2002. His public service leave from Princeton expired in 2005. He became Fed chairman the following year.

Bernanke, who did not address monetary policy or the outlook for the economy in his speech, advised students to be on the lookout for the unexpected twists and turns in life.

“Life is amazingly unpredictable; any 22-year-old who thinks he or she knows where they will be in 10 years, much less in 30, is simply lacking imagination,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to let the drama play out.”

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.