By Jennifer Ablan
(Reuters) - It isn't often you see the words "love", "romance", and "Federal Reserve" in the same sentence.
But on Friday, the central bank and many economists who spend countless hours monitoring its decisions began their Valentine's Day flirtations a bit early.
It started with Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, who tweeted this morning: "You're my long-run target; my nominal anchor" - with the attached hashtag, #FedValentines.
For those who aren't steeped in FedSpeak, what Wolfers was referring to was the Fed's inflation benchmarks.
Within minutes, some top economists in the United States had chimed in with their own take on Cupid. They included Austan Goolsbee, who was previously President Barack Obama's top economist and is now professor of economics at University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Some of the Fed's regional arms - the San Francisco Fed, Philadelphia Fed and Atlanta Fed - weighed in, as did a number of academics and journalists.
"I am surprised by all of this," Wolfers said in a phone interview. "My Twitter stream is filled with geeks, nerds and policy wonks and I thought we'd have nerdy fun. It ended up far more viral than I had anticipated. It went from completely nerdy to sometimes dirty tweets."
The only unofficial rule was that the tweets had to be written using the Fed's often obscure terminology. The resulting declarations ranged from pure romance to cute overtures and racier fare.
Here's a selection from Twitter (Reuters didn't confirm the identities of all of the tweeters):
Alan Beattie @alanbeattie I'd like to borrow you overnight and then hold you to maturity #FedValentines
Austan Goolsbee @Austan_Goolsbee #fedvalentines Roses are red. Violets are pink. Don't listen to goldbugs. No one cares what they think.
SanFranciscoFed @SFFedReserve I'm going to extraordinary measures to increase your stimulus #fedvalentines
Heidi N. Moore @moorehn After a romantic stroll down Maiden Lane, I just want to jump into your ARMs. #Fedvalentines
Atlanta Fed @AtlantaFed I long for you as the economy longs for its long-run maximum potential #FedValentines
ChicagoFed @chicagofed Roses are red, these tweets are great, would you like to learn about our dual mandate? #fedvalentines
Rob Blackwell @ABWashBureau You're a systemic risk? to my heart. #Fedvalentines
NPR's Planet Money @planetmoney I'll be your lover of last resort. #FedValentines
SanFranciscoFed @SFFedReserve My love is elastic, my commitment too big to fail #fedvalentines
Econtourage @Econtourage Hey girl, you're the only number in my little beige book #fedvalentines -- Econtourage @freakonomics
Joseph Weisenthal @TheStalwart Roses are red, violets are blue, let's keep pumping until we achieve NAIRU. #FedValentines
West Wing Report @WestWingReport Roses are red, violets are blue. Would a Default Swap be of interest to you? #FedValentines
ed simons @eddychemical When I get that feeling, I want quantitative easing #FedValentines
Sarah Kitai @sarahkitai Baby, I'd sacrifice my monetary autonomy just to keep my exchange rate fixed to yours #FedValentines
For more: https://twitter.com/#!/search/fedvalentines
(Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Martin Howell)