A look at the economists' group Bernanke addressed

AP News
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Posted: Mar 26, 2012 5:24 PM
A look at the economists' group Bernanke addressed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed the National Association for Business Economics on Monday for the first time since 2008. Speaking in Arlington, Va., Bernanke told the group that the U.S. job market remains weak despite three months of strong hiring.

That view helps explain why the Fed plans to keep short-term interest rates at record lows through 2014, Bernanke suggested.

Here's a snapshot of the NABE:

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HISTORY: The National Association for Business Economics is an organization of business economists and others who use economics professionally. It was founded in 1959.

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MEMBERSHIP: The group has 2,500 members who work for corporations, universities, the government and trade associations. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is a past president.

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CONFERENCES: The group sponsors two major conferences each year: a spring policy meeting, always held in the Washington, D.C., area; and a fall conference that rotates among cities. A 2001 conference took place at the Marriot World Trade Center during the week of the Sept. 11 attacks. The hotel, part of the World Trade Center complex, was destroyed in the attack. But everyone who attended the conference escaped safely. This year, the NABE will hold its fall meeting in New York for the first time since then.

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ATTENDANCE: The current meeting in Arlington has attracted 600 participants, a record for a spring conference. Officials attributed the size mainly to interest in Bernanke's speech.