Fink Says Bernanke’s Comments Show ‘Extreme Positivism’

BlackRock Inc.’s Laurence D. Fink, head of the world’s largest asset manager, said he was surprised by investors’ negative reaction to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s most recent comments on the future of the central bank’s asset purchases.

“I actually believe it’s a statement that the Fed is going to navigate its behavior depending on the marketplace, depending on inflationary pressure,” Fink, chief executive officer of New York-based BlackRock, said today during the Deutsche Bank dbAccess Global Financial Services Investors Conference. “I look at the chairman’s statement to be one of extreme positivism and so I’m not terribly worried about what it means.”

Bernanke on May 22 defended the central bank’s record stimulus program under questioning from lawmakers, telling them that ending it prematurely would endanger a recovery hampered by high unemployment and government spending cuts. U.S. stocks initially extended gains and Treasuries rallied on his remarks.

Stocks erased their rally and Treasuries fell after Bernanke, responding to a question that same day, said the Fed could “take a step down in our pace of purchases” in the “next few meetings” if it is confident gains in the economy can be sustained.

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