Although he was expansive when talking about the Fed's plan to "moderate" it's quantitative easing program, Fed chair Ben Bernanke wasn't in any mood to discuss his own plans regarding the expiration of his chairmanship in January.
At first, he seemed to visibly tense up when asked about his future plans by Ylan Mui of the Washington Post. His spine straightened. His eyes went into an unblinking stare. His lips gripped firmly together.
"On Monday, President Obama said that you had stayed in your position as chairman for longer than you wanted to and maybe longer than you were supposed to. Do you agree with that assessment of your term? And can you update us about any conversations you've had about your future?" Mui asked.
But part way through that question—just about the point where Mui asks if he agrees with the president—a smirk crawls across his face.
"I don't have anything for you on my personal plans," he said.
That tension then relaxation was a very interesting physical phenomenon. It's almost as if he realized for the first time, in the middle of the question, that he personally has an exit strategy. He's getting out long before the Fed gets out of QE. And he's keeping it private.