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In a rarity, Bernanke to appear on "60 Minutes"

March 12, 2009 |  3:37 pm

What's next -- a gig on "Dancing With the Stars?"

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will be interviewed at length on CBS’ "60 Minutes" on Sunday, an unusual forum for a central bank chief.

Bernanke "tells correspondent Scott Pelley what he thinks went wrong with America's financial system, how it caused the economic crisis, what the Federal Reserve is doing to help fix it and when he expects the crippling recession to end," CBS says.

Bernankemarch3 Doesn’t sound like a real news-breaker. Rather, Bernanke seems to be making a conscious effort to humanize himself for public consumption.

It will be interesting to see how much he tries to instill confidence in the economy -- i.e., cheerleading -- as opposed to reminding us how bad things are.

CBS says the segment "also includes an interview in Dillon, S.C., where Bernanke grew up. '60 Minutes' accompanied the Fed chairman to his home town, where he visited his old high school and talked to Pelley about how the current financial crisis is taking its toll on Main Street America."

Asked why Bernanke agreed to the interview, Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith told the Associated Press: "Chairman Bernanke believed the invitation from `60 Minutes' presented a useful opportunity for the Federal Reserve to communicate broadly during this extraordinary economic time."

-- Tom Petruno

Photo: Ben S. Bernanke