Fed to start media briefings on policy

City A.M. Reporter
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is to hold media briefings four times a year in a historic shift to greater openness at the traditionally secretive US central bank.

Bernanke will hold a rare question-and-answer session with reporters on April 27 following a regularly scheduled two-day meeting Fed meeting on monetary policy, the Fed has said.

It is the first regularly scheduled briefing by a Fed chairman in the history of the central bank.

Further briefings will coincide with Fed meetings at which officials provide their quarterly economic forecasts, which fall in June and November this year.

"The introduction of regular press briefings is intended to further enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy communication," the central bank said in a statement.

Bernanke has taken a number of steps to boost Fed transparency during his tenure as chairman.

Congressional and public outcry for greater Fed disclosure has gained amplitude in the wake of the recent financial crisis during which the Fed undertook extensive unorthodox emergency measures.