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
National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

By Alex DobuzinskisLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A one-time follower of mass murderer Charles Manson who in 1975 tried to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford told a…

Local

Mayor Marty Walsh's Reddit AMA: 5 things to…

Mayor Marty Walsh participated in a Reddit AMA - or "ask me anything" - session on Thursday and shared some of his insight and stories.

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Arts

'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

Television

TV watch list, Thursday, April 24: 'Parks and…

'Parks and Recreation' Leslie makes a big decision about her future in the hourlong season finale. Also, fans will finally get to see the big…

Going Out

A.R.T. artistic director Diane Paulus named to 'Time…

A.R.T.'s very own Diane Paulus has been named to the annual "Time 100," the mag's take on the 100 most influential people in the world,…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.