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Fed Chairman Press Conference

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Definition of 'Fed Chairman Press Conference'

On March 24, 2011 the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that he will start holding news conferences four times a year to explain the FOMC's interest rate decisions and its view on the economy.

The purpose of the new conferences is to provide additional context for the Fed's policy decisions and to allow for a question and answer session with the press. The introduction of regular press briefings is intended to enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy communication.

The press briefing is held at 2:15 p.m. ET on the days of FOMC statements in which quarterly projections are released. On those statement days, the FOMC statement will be released at 12:30 p.m. ET instead of 2:15 p.m. ET for when statements are released for other FOMC meetings during the year.

Fed Days now provide a double opportunity for the Fed to move markets, at 12:30 p.m. ET when the statement is released and at 2:15 p.m. ET when the chairman begins his press conference. The second session may have market moving news depending on the way that the chairman answers the questions posed to him during the Q&A session.

These are usually scheduled after FOMC meetings in January, April, June, and October (sometimes early November instead of late October).

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