“We are not clueless,” Kevin Warsh notes in this September 16th 2008 Federal Reserve transcript (as the entire financial system was imploding around them); but it is the final ‘debate’ in this brief section that sums up what Marc Faber has feared all along. Adjective or Abverb?
MR. WARSH. I think the sentiment we are trying to suggest is watchful waiting. We are not indifferent, we are not clueless, we are paying attention, but we are not predisposed. Hence, Governor Kohn’s suggestion.
MR. KOHN. My suggestion was to substitute “carefully” for “closely.” I agree that “monitor closely” had this other connotation, but I think we should be seen as paying more attention than usual. There might be another alternative.
MR. DUDLEY. “The Committee will carefully evaluate economic and financial market developments.” That means you are on the case.
CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. Well, it is not an analytical thing we are doing. We are just watching closely.
MR. WARSH. Keenly? Carefully?
MR. LACKER. Mr. Chairman?
CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. Yes. President Lacker.
MR. LACKER. Including “closely,” what does that imply about the opposite? I mean, are we going to be able to take that out?
MR. WARSH. Well, we have done things like “in a timely manner” and other kinds of phraseology.
MR. LACKER. Yes, but this is an adjective.
CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. No, it’s an adverb.
MR. LACKER. There goes my credibility. [Laughter]
Perhaps that’s why they get paid the big bucks (or not as it appears)