Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, January 11, 2013

Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke to visit U-M for event Monday

Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke joins Dean Susan Collins of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy for a conversation on Monday, in his first visit to U-M.


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks with Ford School Dean Susan Collins during an economic symposium in August. (Photo by Ted S. Warren, Associated Press)


More information

• The conversation with Ben Bernanke is free and open to the public, but seating passes are required.

• All passes available for U-M faculty, staff and students have been claimed. A limited number will be available to the general public at noon today at the Michigan Union Ticket Office. Limit one per person.

• The event, part of the distinguished lecture series Policy Talks @ the Ford School, will be accessible online via a live webstream.

Collins said the conversation, from 4-5:30 p.m. at Rackham Auditorium, would cover monetary policy, recovery from the global financial crisis and long-term challenges facing the U.S. economy.

"Inflation and unemployment are the two big concerns. Inflation is actually below the Fed's 2 percent target but unemployment remains stubbornly high," she said.

Unlike his predecessor Alan Greenspan, who thought "constructive ambiguity" in his statements was an asset, Bernanke has taken a different approach, Collins said.

"Chairman Bernanke has moved much more toward trying to have the public understand what the mission of the Fed is and what it is trying to accomplish," she said.

Bernanke also will take questions from the audience and via Twitter. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #fordschoolbernanke.

Bernanke began a second term as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on Feb. 1, 2010. He also serves as chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the system's principal monetary policymaking body.

"The dramatic increase in transparency is likely to be one of the major legacies of Chairman Bernanke's term at the Federal Reserve," Collins said.

Prior to his appointment, Bernanke was chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from June 2005 to January 2006, served in several roles at the Federal Reserve and is a former Princeton University economics professor and department chair.

Collins said she sees challenges ahead for the Federal Reserve, which is in unchartered territory.

"While the research clearly shows its policies — including unconventional ones — have had positive effects on the economy, it is still unclear how big the impact has been, and how effective they will be if they are continued," Collins said.

Bernanke received a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University in 1975 and a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979.