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Fed weighs next move; Bernanke to meet the press

Apr 27, 2011 6:29:00 AM - thestate.com
The door at the notoriously secretive Federal Reserve is opening wider.

For the first time in the Fed's 98-year history, its chairman is to begin holding regular news conferences. For Ben Bernanke, Wednesday's meeting with the press gives him a chance to steer the debate about where hiring, economic growth and inflation are headed in the months ahead.

It also helps the chairman cast himself as open and accessible, eager to answer questions.

Investors will be looking mainly for clues about when the Fed will reverse course and begin boosting interest rates.

When their two-day meeting ends Wednesday, before the news conference begins, Bernanke and his colleagues are expected to signal that the Fed's $600 billion Treasury bond-buying program will end as scheduled in June.