As the Fed rolls out another anxiously awaited decision on rate cuts, the Wall Street Journal does a play-by-play analysis of Ben Bernanke's handling of the three-month old credit crisis with an eye to what we've learned about the new Fed boss. For starters, he's more open and collaborative than his predecessor. "There's more of the economic seminar room, of exchanging views and thinking out loud," says a former adviser to both men.
Critics say he underestimated the depth of the mortgage crisis and its potential spillover to markets, and should have shifted priorities from inflation to the slowing economy sooner. But concerns about his largely academic background, and possible lack of market savvy, have been allayed. He's more cautious about wielding the "rate-cut weapon" than Greenspan, but more creative in seeking alternate ways to stabilize the financial system .