On April 27, following a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke conducted the first official press conference of the Federal Reserve. Bernanke began with a long opening statement before taking questions. A good summary along with a video of the press conference is posted here.
Our friend Seth Lipsky wasn’t able to make it to the press conference, but he took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to pose four questions for Bernanke. Here is the third of the four questions Seth served up:
Mr. Chairman, last month a federal jury in North Carolina convicted a man named Bernard von NotHaus of counterfeiting U.S. coins. His medallions, which he called “Liberty Dollars,” were made of silver. When he sold them he was getting about $20 for a medallion containing an ounce of silver, and now the coin is worth nearly twice that amount in U.S. dollars.
Yet the dollars you issued back when Mr. von NotHaus was in business have plunged in value to but a fraction of the silver or gold they were worth when you issued them. Mr. von NotHaus may be going to jail for years, and yet here you are. I don’t mean to suggest in any way that you broke any law, but how do you feel about this situation?