February 27, 2014
Laughter, Transcriptology, And The FOMC
Posted by David Zaring

Over at DealBook, I’ve got a piece on the analysis of FOMC transcripts – a cottage industry, now that the Bernanke era version of the committee has released its 2008 (that is, depth of the crisis) records.  There’s lots of counting that can be done, including some, in honor of Jay Wexler’s Supreme Court study, on the number of times the FOMC broke into laughter.  Easy enough to actually do for the Greenspan FOMC, and so I do it:

For what it is worth, the mood lightened as the chairman aged, although the F.O.M.C. certainly went through turbulent times during both the beginning and the end of Mr. Greenspan’s tenure. Meeting transcribers recorded laughter on a per-transcript-page basis increasing from an average of less than 20 percent from 1988 to 1992 to more than 20 percent from 2001 to 2006. In a few years, we will be able to make comparable statements about the F.O.M.C. when Ben S. Bernanke was the Fed chairman. Mr. Greenspan used wit far more than any other single Fed official (although he spoke far more at F.O.M.C. meetings than the others did) – laughter ensued after something he said 556 times over the course of his tenure.

Do give it a look.

Administrative Law, Finance, Financial Crisis, Financial Institutions | Bookmark

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