Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has yet to win the hearts and minds of many on Wall Street. But a stand-out performance during his appearance before Congress on Valentine's Day could bring him considerably more admirers.
His speech on the economy and related Q&A session comes at a particularly important time for both the reputation of the Fed chairman and the central bank's battle against the credit crunch and slowing economy.
"He's beginning to get the acceptance and confidence of Wall Street, " says Scott Rothbort, president of Lakeview Asset Management at a professor at Seton Hall University's Stillman School of Business. "If he makes a step in the wrong direction he will lose the credibility he has built up in the past few weeks.
The timing of Bernanke appearance before the Senate Banking Committee--which will be carried live on CNBC.com Thursday starting at 10 am New York time--is particularly important for several reasons.