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    #1

    could have been talking

    The following in red is confusing.

    Unlike his predecessor Jimmy Carter, who acknowledged the role of inflation in the nation's woes, President Obama, ... has failed to see a link between the problems of the 99% and wealth-destroying monetary policies. When the president complained that "the basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed," he could have been talking about what happens when the Fed weakens the dollar.

    Does it mean "he was actually talking about it even though he wasn't conscious of it"?

    Thank you.

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: could have been talking

    http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie.../english/could Definition#4 could fit your sentence.

    Not a teacher.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: could have been talking

    No, it means that what Obama said could be applied to "what happens when the Fed weakens the dollar" - though he didn't mean that.
    Mary: "John said his dog had been bad-tempered lately - sulking and growling at everyone."
    Tom: "Hmm, he could have been talking about my mother-in-law." (He wasn't, but it would have appropriate in that context too)

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