Don't Expect Fireworks from the Fed

Congress Dems may ask tough questions, but Bernanke has learned to hold his tongue. Plus, he has little choice but to stick to current policy

As Sherlock Holmes observed, sometimes what's important is the dog that didn't bark in the night. On Jan. 18, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will appear before the Democratic-run Congress for the first time when he meets with the Senate Budget Committee. The committee is chaired by Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, who said last year that the previous Republican Congress was leaving behind "a litany of failure" on economic and other issues. Some experts expect the Democrats to be more forceful in their questioning of the Fed chairman, particularly on housing and wages, than the previous Republican congressional leaders.

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