How Well Do You Know Your Central Bankers?

The careful wording:

a. "Strong vigilance."
b. Rates will stay low "for an extended period."
c. Monetary policy "is not about dropping hints."
d. Current monetary policy is "prudent."
e. The bank "will take policy actions in an appropriate manner."

The bankers:

1. Ben Bernanke, Chairman, U.S. Federal Reserve. A phrase that has popped up regularly since March 2009 to signal very loose monetary policy.

2. Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor, People's Bank of China. Signals the PBOC will do whatever it takes to reduce liquidity and curb inflation. This word has been in PBOC communiqués since Dec. 3.

3. Masaaki Shirakawa, Governor, Bank of Japan. A BOJ favorite of late. Taken to mean that the BOJ will expand a 10 trillion yen ($124 billion) asset-buying fund if the economy worsens.

4. Jean-Claude Trichet, President, European Central Bank. Employed by Trichet in the past to signal a rate hike. Some analysts were waiting to hear the phrase on May 5. They didn't.

5. Mervyn King, Governor, Bank of England. King disdains code words. He prefers to outline the BOE's views of the economic data and allow markets to draw their own conclusions.


1b, 2d, 3e, 4a, 5c

Data: Bloomberg

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