Ben Bernanke's voice has been known to put humans into a trance even under the best of circumstances, and I was under the influence of a fever and some cold medications. Still, other observers reported a similar reaction to my own. The Fed Chair's press conference felt like a sensory deprivation tank, but with extra-credit math questions.
Was Mr. Bernanke calm? Put it this way: I watched the video feed for several minutes before I realized it wasn't a photograph. A lizard can stay motionless for so long, you start wondering if it's real. It was like that. Then Bernanke turned his head, and I got the same feeling you get when the lizard finally blinks.
That's the Robitussin talking, not me.
Bernanke needed to do two things today: First, he needed to avoid making a careless remark that would roil the world's markets and set off a panic. Mission accomplished. And to avoid excessive scrutiny, he needed to be as placid and boring as possible. He might have overshot the mark on that one.
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