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Research – The Economics of the Fed’s Press Conference

A Way With Words: The Economics of the Fed’s Press Conference, by Fernando Duarte and Carlo Rosa

“When central bankers speak, traders, journalists, and politicians listen with bated breath. The marked asset price reaction to Chairman Bernanke’s June press conference confirms the importance of his comments in the marketplace.  The chart…shows the dynamics of U.S. asset prices in five-minute intervals (the ten-year Treasury rate, S&P 500, and euro/dollar exchange rate) during the announcement day. The strong market reaction was spurred not only by the release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement at 2 p.m., but also by the question-and-answer part of the press conference at 2:30 p.m., when journalists questioned the Chairman to better understand the Fed’s views. In this case, markets thought Chairman Bernanke revealed new, important information, and asset prices moved. But was this an exception? Do all press conferences provide new information, or is the FOMC statement the more market-moving Fed communication tool?”

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