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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

The Federal Reserve Is...Gasp...Funny

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve has released the full transcripts of its 2006 meetings.

The most shocking thing I've learned while reading them is that the Federal Reserve is actually pretty funny.

For instance, here's how Dave Stockton, who used to run the Fed's main research arm, introduces his report on economic conditions in December of 2006.

As I worked my way through a final reading of the Greenbook this weekend, I was reminded of the old joke about the man who is told by his doctor that he has only six months to live. The doctor recommends that the man marry an economist and move to North Dakota. The man asks whether this will really help him live any longer than six months. The doctor says, “No, but it sure will feel a lot longer.”

Later, Fed governor Randall Kroszner says this about Stockton:

We heard that not long ago he was on the psychiatrist’s couch dealing with a schizophrenia issue of whether the economy is going up or going down. But now we know that he is on his death bed.

Bernanke chimes in:

As Governor Kroszner mentioned, we had an avalanche of data, and the snowman is still standing in the same place as before.

It keeps going on and on like this. The transcript for the December meeting notes that attendees break into laughter 48 times.

Eddy Elfenbein at Crossing Wall Street blog has some more examples of the Fed's humor.

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