WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan is caught in a formidable set of political and financial market pressures that he will have to sort out in public when he testifies at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.

A few grumpy words on the U.S. economy or about the Fed's inability to provide a helping hand with additional rate cuts could send stock and bond market investors running for the hills. The wrong words could also diminish consumer confidence when the Bush administration is seeking to reverse public attitudes about the economy.

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