Five Key Questions for Bernanke

With the next rate-setting meeting fast approaching, here are some issues that are surely top of mind for the Federal Reserve chairman

The chairman of the Federal Reserve is like a golfer trying to line up a tee shot while thousands of spectators shout advice. The higher the stakes, the louder the buzz from the gallery, and the stakes are superhigh after the government's surprising report on Sept. 7 that employment shrank in August. The decline in jobs, the first such drop in four years, hammered stocks (, 9/9/07), with the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling 250 points. Among the hardest-hit stocks were Caterpillar (CAT), IBM (IBM), ExxonMobil (XOM), Harley Davidson (HOG), and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD).

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