Web Wealth: The Fed

Posted: March 25, 2007

The Federal Open Market Committee didn't change interest rates last week - and proved that even inaction by the powerful monetary-policy setter will move the markets. We looked for sites to help us understand the Federal Reserve and its chairman Ben S. Bernanke.

Fed alert. Bankrate.com posts news breaking on the Fed front. In addition, from this page you can sign up for newsletters and "alert" e-mails, for which you choose the keywords, such as "Federal Reserve," "Bernanke" or "home equity." Also find a list of the 11 members of the Federal Open Market Committee, which is headed by Bernanke.


Princeton page. Before he was the Fed chairman, Bernanke was chairman of the department of economics at Princeton University. The school still has his home page posted, with a photo in which the macroeconomist looks considerably more casual and carefree than of late.


Bernanke bio. The newer biography page on Bernanke at the Federal Reserve Web site is a short introduction that brings us more up to date. It says the chairman's term runs to 2010, but his 14-year appointment to the Fed's board of governors extends for an additional decade. It also pictures him in a suit and tie.


How Fed works. "We'll visit the mystical world of the Fed," says this Web site that sets out to explain an institution that it calls "the gatekeeper of the U.S. economy." To explain why we need the Fed, the site says that before its creation in 1913, there were more than "30,000 different currencies floating around the United States." As a result, confidence in banks was rather low, and the Fed was born to stabilize the situation.

Woopidoo quotes. This quirky site bills itself as a "motivational business portal." We went there for its compendium of quotes from business leaders from Henry Ford to Jack Welch. The selection of Bernanke quotations includes this advice for avoiding deflation - which we deem of value in so many situations - "the best way to get out of trouble is not to get into it in the first place."


Reserve band. Of course there's a rock band called the Federal Reserve. Listen on the group's MySpace page:


Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or rkanaley@phillynews.com.

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