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Bernanke: Even baseball players want to talk monetary policy with him

As Ben Bernanke describes it, one of the perks of being chairman of the Federal Reserve was getting to meet and chat with the Washington Nationals baseball players during batting practice.

Bernanke might be a Great Depression scholar but he’s also a massive baseball fan (the Federal Reserve staff passed around mock baseball cards of him at his goodbye party in 2014).

At the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast this week to promote his new memoir, “The Courage to Act,” the former Federal Reserve chairman recounted meeting Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth during a visit to the park a few years ago.


Bernanke described approaching Werth on the dugout steps. The imposing six-and-half foot player, with his unruly locks and beard, initially didn’t seem too impressed.

But when Werth found out he was the Fed president, Bernanke said he perked up. Perhaps improbably, Werth had a very specific question: “What’s the deal with quantitative easing anyway?” Bernanke said.

Surprised? Werth, it seems is something of fan of Washington policy and politics, telling Sports Illustrated of that Bernanke meeting: “He wasn’t talking about that economic stuff. So we talked about baseball and it was a hoot.”

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.