The WSJ combed the 2008 financial crisis Fed transcripts for the laugh lines. Janet Yellen, now chairman, has the best accounting joke I can remember:
Ms. Yellen: An accounting joke concerning the balance sheets of many financial institutions is now making the rounds, and it summarizes the situation as follows: On the left-hand side, nothing is right; and on the right-hand side, nothing is left. [Laughter]
Matt Yglesias has a new candidate from Massachusetts if this Elizabeth Warren thing doesn't work out:
Eric Rosengren Is a True American Hero
He's right, but I'll bet Matt is not aware of Rosengren's efforts with respect to income inequality; the NY Times was thrilled:
Last week, Mr. Rosengren and his team announced the winners of a Fed-sponsored competition that will funnel $1.8 million into innovative economic development projects in six medium-size cities, including Lawrence, a onetime textile powerhouse that peaked a century ago and has been in decline since the 1950s.
The amount to be doled out, which is being supplied by outside donors rather than by the Fed, is relatively modest, as Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed, noted in a video presented at the awards ceremony here.
But it represents a new, untested approach for the Fed, which has been widely criticized for bailing out Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis, but leaving Main Street to fend for itself.
Having the Fed behind the effort, known as the Working Cities Challenge, also lends it a business-friendly sheen, rather than making it seem like another well-meaning, but ultimately futile, attempt at urban renewal. “The Fed brings a gravitas aspect to this,” said Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts.
It is a model that Mr. Rosengren hopes will be adopted by other regional Federal Reserve Banks, which are watching the experiment now underway here.
“It’s a little out of the ordinary for the Federal Reserve,” Mr. Rosengren said in an interview at his 32nd-floor office, which overlooks Boston Harbor. “Monetary policy may not do the same as what this does in Lawrence.”