Should Bernanke be allowed to attend the January 31st FOMC meeting to smooth the transition? Most FOMC members said no, particularly since he is still part of the White House. There are arguments on both sides, but I agree with the decision:
Bernanke quietly begins to prepare for transition at the Fed, Greg Ip, WSJ Washington Wire: While awaiting Senate confirmation, the Fed chairman nominee meets one-on-one or talks by telephone with members of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policy panel. They talk more about running the Fed and long-range economic issues, less about monetary policy. More formal consultations between Bernanke and the FOMC before his swearing-in are unlikely. Some Fed officials thought the transition would be smoother if Bernanke were given input on the policy decision at the Jan. 31 meeting, Alan Greenspan's last one. But more officials object to admitting a non-member into confidential FOMC deliberations, especially one who is still part of the White House. It might also tread on Greenspan's authority in his final weeks. Meanwhile, Greenspan is dragging his feet on sitting for an official portrait. The artist has yet to be chosen and the work could take about a year.