Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke was willing to talk baseball on a trip to the heartland this week but not the government shutdown.
James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, was tasked with introducing Bernanke, a noted baseball fan, on Wednesday at a Fed conference in St. Louis dedicated to community banking.
"Washington has shut down and is not playing baseball," Bullard said, referencing both the government shutdown and the Washington Nationals inability to make the playoffs this year.
"St. Louis has not shut down and we are still playing baseball," Bullard added as Bernanke stood up. "So, consider St. Louis your home away from home for baseball, Mr. Chairman."
Bernanke astutely avoided making any offhand comments on the stalemate in Washington, though he couldnt resist a brief retort about postseason baseball. "Wait till next year," he told Bullard after taking the podium.
Interestingly, there is some speculation that Bernanke, whose term as chairman ends in January, could be a contender to replace Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who plans to retire in 2015.