Ben Bernanke Meets The Press : Planet Money At the first regular news conference held in the Federal Reserve's 98-year history, Chairman Ben Bernanke discussed efforts to stimulate the economy. Fed officials expect a moderate economic recovery to continue through this year after weak growth in the first three months of 2011. And the latest outlook foresees lower unemployment than was expected in January.
NPR logo Live Blogging Bernanke

Live Blogging Bernanke

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
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Ben Bernanke's challenge at today's press conference: Talk openly about what the Federal Reserve is up to, while delivering absolutely no real news.

Bernanke knows the Fed needs to make its case directly to the general public. And if he can use today's presser to explain Fed policy in clear, simple language, he'll help his cause.

At the same time, though, Bernanke — like all Fed chairmen — doesn't like to surprise investors, who will be parsing every word he says. The Fed typically telegraphs its policy changes months in advance, largely through carefully worded official statements.

So it's highly unlikely that Bernanke will want to say anything that investors find truly new or surprising — anything that might move markets — when he's standing in front of reporters, answering questions in a live broadcast. (Watch it online.)

We'll be live blogging the press conference, which starts at 2:15 p.m. Eastern.

Postgame update: There was a lot of Fedspeak, with some plain English mixed in. Bernanke didn't say anything that was news to investors or Fed watchers. Stocks and bonds didn't make any sharp moves in response to the speech.

Bottom line: No surprises.