Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Fed Cred: What grade would you give Bernanke?

Posted by: Lauren Young on September 24, 2007

What was supposed to set Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve chairmanship apart from that of Alan Greenspan is transparency as well as plain talk. And that’s why the Fed’s decision to cut the Federal Funds rate target by 50 basis points on Sept. 18 didn’t jive with the message the Fed was sending to the fixed-income market.

“We were all knocked off balance by this,” says Kenneth Volpert, one of Vanguard Group’s bond gurus. I had a chance to catch up with Volpert (pictured below) over lunch today. As the person at the helm of more than $80 billion in bond index fund assets, he is someone who cares about the Fed’s every move. Volpert is the portfolio manager of Vanguard’s Total Bond Market Index Fund, which has more than $50 billion in assets, as well as Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund, among others.

Volpert muses that catching the market off guard must have been part of Bernanke’s master plan because “the shock is what can move people.” And the people have moved: the fixed-income markets are open for business once again.


As a result, Volpert grades Bernanke’s performance so far as an A-. “There’s still plenty of credibility with the Fed,” Volpert says. “Part of the good grade is knowing when to speak, and when not to speak.”

What grade would you give to Bernanke?

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment



Businessweek’s Emily Thornton, Amy Feldman, Ben Levisohn, and Ben Steverman focus on matters great and small for investors, from the views of a hot fund manager to an explanation of the latest products devised by Wall Street’s rocket scientists. Exploring trends in any area, from bonds and stocks to closed-end funds and futures, always with an eye towards giving investors a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of finance. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!