Fed’s Bernanke ready for hot seat

Kate Middleton isn’t the only person who has been rehearsing for a big debut on the world stage this week. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been hard at work for months preparing for his first-ever official press conference on Wednesday, and it’s safe to say that Bernanke’s moves will be analyzed as closely as Middleton’s big white dress.

That’s because, as a rule, Fed chairmen don’t give press conferences. They release carefully written statements and occasionally testify before Congress, acutely aware that their every word has the power to send world financial markets soaring — or plunging.

Bernanke has taken questions from the press only twice before at the National Press Club, where reporters wrote their queries on a card beforehand. This time, it’ll be raised hands and no script.
Much like England’s royal bride, Bernanke has been preparing for the big day for months. In February, he reportedly pulled European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet aside at a meeting to ask him how he handles his pressers. Add to this the hours Bernanke has spent watching videos of his global counterparts taking questions from reporters.

In recent days, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bernanke has even taken part in dress rehearsals for his big day: Staffers role-play as reporters and pepper the famously unflappable market master with questions.

As for the invitees, seats at Bernanke’s big debut were so limited they make the royal wedding look like, well, a piece of cake.

The fun starts at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, and ITK will be closely analyzing Bernanke’s choice of tie.