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Bernanke Is Set To Boldly Go Where No (Fed) Man Has Gone Before

The Federal Reserve chief is expected to hold a news conference this week and answer questions from journalists, signaling a startling break from tradition for the central bank.

This week, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to boldly go where no (Fed) man has gone before: in front of a room filled with journalists.

There, he will try to explain the Fed's monetary policy, and restore confidence in the central bank that some lost at the height of the financial crisis.

The meeting is also expected to signal a return to monetary tightening.

This hasn't been an easy ride for Bernanke, says James Gentry, a communications professor at the University of Kansas.

"He's already been dealing with some total economic illiterates who happen to reside in the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States," Gentry notes in a NPR Marketplace Morning Report.

Now, Bernanke will aim to add some transparency to the Fed's notoriously private work.

In doing so, he will finally shed some light on the bank's economic policy for a whole swathe of 'economic illiterates' out there -- as well as some acute analysts who will have some very sharp-edged questioning.

Transparency is always a good thing. But life is certainly about to get even more difficult for Bernanke.

The Fed chairman's mission, unlike Star Trek's Enterprise, may not be to try to seek out new life and civilizations. But like the starship, Bernanke certainly will be exploring 'strange new worlds... and boldly going where no (Fed) man has gone before.'

Let's just hope that at the end of the first news conference, he doesn't click his heels and turn right back to the Fed's old murky ways.

Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio

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