And he can't win either way.
Bernanke can telegraph a third round of quantitative easing (QE3), which most economists believe would at best be ineffective. Or he could do nothing to reassure the markets that have already priced in another $500 billion to $600 billion of central bank U.S. Treasury purchases.
In either case, the outcome won't be pretty.
Many analysts already have questioned the effectiveness of QE1 and QE2, and even the ones that don't are pessimistic about the potential outcome of QE3.
Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald said that although the markets may be looking for QE3, it would be a bad idea.
"It has never worked since the dawn of recorded time and it will not work now," Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald said on the Fox Business program "Varney and Co." "You cannot debase your currency and work your way out of this for anything but a short-term basis."
However, should Bernanke indicate the Fed is not considering QE3, the markets - which have risen about 5% this week -- could choke on the news.
"The market's sending a signal to Bernanke saying, 'We want QE3 and we want it this week, or we're going to hammer you and the market will get absolutely killed,'" Keith Springer, president of Springer Financial Advisory, told CNBC.com. "The stock market is addicted to QE."
Third Time the Charm?Some observers viewed the week's glum economic reports on housing, manufacturing and unemployment as possible catalysts for Fed action.
"It's almost as if negative news is being priced in as something positive because it underscores the argument that the Fed needs to do something," Abigail Huffman, director of research for Russell Investments, told The Wall Street Journal. "People are hedging their bets. They're hoping for the best and positioning for the worst."