OLD Media Moves

Former Fed chairman Greenspan still doesn't understand the biz media

March 6, 2007

Marketwatch’s Greg Robb points out that despite his success in managing the country’s economy, former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan still doesn’t understand the role of the press in the financial world.

Alan Greenspan As a prime example, senior reporter Robb trots out Greenspan’s speech last week that sent the market roiling because he mentioned the possibility of a recession. Greenspan’s speech was off limits to reporters.

Robb is calling for new Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to be more open with the business press as a result.

Robb wrote, “With so little on-the record information to go on, sensational and often misleading stories about monetary policy filled the void.

“All of this would be like crying over spilled milk except for the fact that Greenspan’s distrust and misunderstanding of the press have outlasted his reign at the Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington.

“Despite moves toward much greater transparency, restrictions on reporters have actually tightened. Fed governors now only give interviews on ‘background,’ and they’re not allowed to be quoted.

“Although such an interview may aid in a reporter’s understanding of Fed actions, the reporter is not allowed to pass that understanding directly to his readers. So an interview with a Fed official amounts to little more than an ego boost.

“There are exceptions to this practice. Several Fed bank presidents actually sit down with the press and take questions.”

Read more here.

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