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Federal Reserve hops aboard Twitter train

The Fed is taking the calls for more transparency to the interwebs. They’ve started up a Twitter feed, and hope to use it to package information for an audience more used to receiving news on the net, rather than, say, a congressional hearing.

The feed (@FederalReserve), will be posting press releases, speeches, testimony, reports to Congress, their Monthly Report on Credit and Liquidity Programs and the Balance Sheet, plus the Federal Reserve’s weekly balance sheet. 

All of that seems a bit boring to the blogosphere, and just about as appealing to the general public as a lecture in economics (probably because that’s just about what it amounts to). But, fear not, they will also be posting educational FAQ’s and Board video links, which are more likely to appeal to a general audience.

There are currently no plans to allow members of the Federal Open Market Committee to tweet, or to express any of their individual views on the feed. Additionally, their website will remain their main source of communication and nothing will be tweeted about that hasn’t already been published on the site. There is also no point person for this feed, and the general staff will man it. 

On a district level, the Fed Reserve branches are pretty effective at Tweeting. The only district that doesn’t seem to have a Twitter is Kansas City, but the other 11 are quite active and even occasionally send out tweets for fun. The San Francisco Fed even caught onto the #FedValentines trend that popped up around the day of love, and tweeted such pithy quips as “@sffedreserve: My love is elastic, my commitment too big to fail.” 

So, if the districts can be active – and even funny – on Twitter, maybe they’ll push the Fed’s new twitter foray into something useful. Here’s to hoping, because they’ve got almost 5,000 followers after being live for only 4 hours. 

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