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Bernanke’s Secret to Success in News Briefing: Avoid Gaffes

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke avoided saying anything yesterday at his first press conference that shocked or confused investors. In other words, economists said, his appearance was a success.

During 46 minutes answering questions, Bernanke commented on a broad spectrum of economic issues, saying he expected inflation in fuel costs to slow and the end of the central bank’s $600 billion bond purchase program in June to have little impact on markets. He veered away once from the business at hand to mention his “big mistake” to play chess against economist Kenneth Rogoff, a former professional player.