Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he has been making an unusual number of public appearances to open up the otherwise secretive agency as the country faces "extraordinary" times. "Normally, Fed chairmen don't do this kind of thing because we want to avoid causing near-term market volatility as people try to anticipate our next [Federal Open Market Committee] meeting," he said. "But this is an extraordinary period. We want to answer the questions we know people have about what hit them in this economic crisis, what the Fed is doing about it and how we expect economic developments to play out."
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