He tended to lead with his tongue like a wannabe prizefighter leads with his chin.
Now that Bernanke's evil twin sister, Janet Yellen, looks like she's easy for the top spot as the head of the Fed, look for the market to parse, over-analyze and overreact to anything that Bernanke says this Wednesday.
Because let's face it: Now that Syria's off the table- for now- and Larry Summers is off the table- for now- the only thing left for the market to talk about is Bernanke and corporate earnings.
If, as is widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee decides to start winding down quantitative easing, it will be another case of not so much what Bernanke said but how he said that the market will look for.
Will what Bernanke he says have long-lasting consequences? Probably not.
Bernanke he has been a little more adept this summer trimming expectations for quantitative easing. The market has made a fairly orderly transition from QE forever to QE ending sometime in the next century. But don't be surprised if Helicopter Ben leaves us with at least with one Bernanke-ism before he bows out.
It could happen on Wednesday.
Ben Bernanke's time as Federal Reserve Chairman hasn't necessarily been marred by the financial crisis, as it has been by his tongue. While previous fed chairs in recent memory were fairly nuanced and what what they were said, Ben Bernanke he hasn't yet mastered that.