The Federal Reserve, notorious for its orotund, deliberately vague pronouncements, is now limiting itself to 140-character bursts on Twitter.
The institution, which sets interest rates and controls the amount of money the U.S. prints, launched its Twitter account Tuesday, @federalreserve.
The feed, which is now up to about 7,500 followers, is the brainchild of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke (pictured), who is seeking new ways to reach out to the public. The feed will include press releases, speeches, its weekly balance sheet and testimony and reports to Congress. Also on tap: “educational frequently asked questions,” according to a press release.
Though Twitter is still relatively new, many federal offices have Twitter feeds, including The White House, which now has 2.7 million followers. NASA also has 1.9 million followers. According to a report by ExpertLabs last year, the U.S. Mint, the Homeland Security Department, the U.S. Marine Corps and the National Park Foundation had the most responsive Twitter accounts.
Given the Fed’s history, it’s unlikely that it will make that list. The organization is known for its guarded statements and “fedspeak,” a lawyerly form of address that former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has called “syntax destruction.” Greenspan told 60 Minutes in 2007 that his replies to Congress “sounded like I was answering the question, but I was not.”
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