Inside the Head of the New Fed Chief

Ben Bernanke, the man who holds the reins of the economy, likes to listen. Now he's starting to say what's on his mind

It's not always easy to listen to Senators bloviating. Yet last week Ben Bernanke, the mild-mannered economist who is approaching his six-month mark as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, looked as focused as a patient parent listening to a child. Tom Carper, a Senator from Delaware, took note of Bernanke's attentiveness. One departed Cabinet secretary, Carper said, used to appear before Congress and "sit there with papers spread all around him and read this and that." Not Bernanke. "You listen to everyone," Carper said in amazement. And so Carper couldn't help bringing up the obvious question: "What do you actually...

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