12/10/2012 08:41 am ET

Simon Johnson: 'Here's A Puzzle To Entertain Your Friends'

Here’s a puzzle to entertain your friends this holiday season. Why would a senior governor of the Federal Reserve System publicly ask a question to which he plainly knows the answer?

We are all familiar with the dark art of reading central bank communications as they pertain to interest rates. The opacity of former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was legendary; his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, and other current central bankers lean toward greater transparency and signaling their intentions.

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