When the Federal Reserve Board speaks, Wall Street listens. So a throng of reporters crowded into the Fed's boardroom Tuesday for a news conference called by Fed Governor Edward W. Kelley Jr..

The crowd waited in vain for Mr. Kelley to utter the words "Asian crisis" or "interest rates." Instead they heard Mr. Kelley praise the U.S. Postal Service's new stamp honoring the Federal Reserve.

"The unveiling of the Federal Reserve stamp is a tribute to the importance of our central banking system, and we are honored by this occasion," he said.

The eagle on the stamp is prominently displayed on the facade of the central bank's Constitution Avenue building, which opened in 1937. The bird was sculpted from white Georgia marble by American artist Sidney Waugh.

The Fed stamp will be issued in early February, the 16th of 30 stamps to commemorate the first two decades of the 20th century, as part of the Postal Service's "Celebrate the Century" series.

The next stamp for the 1910-1919 decade honors President Wilson. Some of the other stamps in the series will honor the Grand Canyon, Jack Dempsey, the Panama Canal, and Charlie Chaplin.

Mr. Kelley, Robert A.F. Reisner, vice president of strategic planning for the Postal Service, and Washington, D.C., Postmaster David A. Clark cast the first votes for favorite 1950s stamps. That's when the words "interest rates" were finally uttered.

Mr. Clark said the choice was hard, much harder than voting to raise or lower "interest rates," he joked.

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