Ber­nanke re­vis­its GW as a guest lec­turer

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

Fed­eral Re­serve Chair­man Ben S. Ber­nanke took a break from his day job Tues­day to re­visit the aca­demic life he led be­fore com­ing to Washington a decade ago.

Shortly af­ter noon, he stood be­fore a class of Ge­orge Washington Univer­sity un­der­grad­u­ates and gave the first of four one-hour lec­tures on the Fed. Stu­dents gave him a round of ap­plause when he ar­rived.

Most showed up a half-hour early. They were dressed bet­ter than usual in but­ton-down shirts and slacks. There was a mix of ner­vous en­ergy and ex­cite­ment in a class­room that seats about 70 peo­ple. Some fid­geted and chat­ted qui­etly while an­tic­i­pat­ing their spe­cial guest lec­turer.

“We have a chance to speak one on one with a guy who’s ar­guably one of the most im­por­tant peo­ple in the world,” said Sameer Iqbal, a ju­nior fi­nance ma­jor. “He’s tak­ing time out of his sched­ule to speak to 30 col­lege kids? I think that’s awe­some.”

The Tues­day lec­ture fo­cused on U.S. cen­tral bank­ing dat­ing to the pan­ics of the 19th cen­tury and early 20th cen­tury, which led to the Fed’s cre­ation in 1913. The sec­ond lec­ture, on Thurs­day, in­volves the cen­tral bank’s ac­tions af­ter World War II.

In the final two, on March 27 and 29, Mr. Ber­nanke will re­view the roots of the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis and the Fed’s re­sponse to the cri­sis and the re­ces­sion that fol­lowed.

GW as­sem­bled the class of 30 from 80 ap­pli­cants who wrote es­says on what they hoped to learn from ar­guably the sec­ond-most-pow­er­ful U.S. of­fi­cial af­ter Pres­i­dent Obama.

For a Fed chief who has set new stan­dards for public ac­ces­si­bil­ity, the GW lec­ture se­ries marks an­other first: None of Mr. Ber­nanke’s pre­de­ces­sors ever helped teach col­lege stu­dents while serv­ing as chair­man.


Fed­eral Re­serve Chair­man Ben S. Ber­nanke speaks at Ge­orge Washington Univer­sity on Tues­day. In do­ing so, he re­vis­its the life of academia that he left a decade ago.

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