SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - It was no honeymoon for Janet Yellen at a marathon congressional hearing earlier this week, but the love was back on Friday with a flutter of #FedValentines on Twitter for the Federal Reserve and its first woman chief.
The tradition of wonky love limericks exploded on to the social media site in 2012 with academics, economists and journalists waxing poetic on quantitative easing, the zero lower bound and too-big-to-fail banks. It cooled in 2013 - perhaps on twitterati ennui with former Fed Chairman Bernanke and his open-ended, unconventional commitment to stimulating the economy - but it returned this Valentine’s Day with dozens of tweets in the morning alone.
Even the usually staid regional branches of the U.S. central bank got in the game, with @ChicagoFed doing a riff on a Shakespeare sonnet (Shall I compare thee to the dual mandate? Thou art as lovely, with a perfect discount rate), and @RichmondFed, known for its president’s hawkish voting record, nodding to the unanimous policy vote last month (Roses are red; A sign of true love; On that, no dissent; Whether hawk or dove).
“Yellen, your balance sheet or mine,” tweeted one wag, perhaps oblivious to the fact that Yellen already found love at the Fed when she met her future husband George Akerlof in the central bank’s cafeteria, back in 1977.
“My interest rate in you will never approach the zero lower bound,” wrote another.
There was a bit of Marvin Gaye (And when I get that feelin’, I need Quantitative Easin’), some Daft Punk (Tapering has just begun; Low rates for the long run; Plenty of time for more fun; We’re up all night to get lucky), and a dash of lullaby (Yields aren’t rich; And the jobless stopped lookin’; So hush Raghu Rajan; Don’t you cry).
There was plenty of PG-13: “Think you’re busy on Valentine’s day? Fed has dual man-dates.”
And PG-13 with a nerdy twist: “You increase my heart’s interest, optimizing amorous outcomes in an uncertain relationship environment.”
And while some were unprintably vulgar, most at least tried for a spirit of fun, even those that criticized the world’s most important central bank (Violets are blue; Roses are red; Let the free market live; Abolish the Fed).
Meanwhile the Fed’s official Twitter feed, @FederalReserve, was unmoved by the love and stayed true to the stereotype of the ever-sober central banker.
“REMINDER: The 2/18 open Board meeting on enhanced standards for large U.S. & foreign banks will be streamed live,” was its contribution.
Or maybe it was playing hard to get.
Reporting by Ann Saphir and Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama