Fed’s Jackson Hole retreat begins with focus on future of US economy

Global Business

Janet Yellen Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill. June 22, 2016 (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The 2016 Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is now underway. This annual gathering of central bankers often provides important clues about what monetary policymakers think of the U.S. economy and what moves they plan to make to adjust the economy. That’s why business-oriented media is here.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Fed's Jackson Hole retreat begins with focus on future of US economy

Fed's Jackson Hole retreat begins with focus on future of US economy

The 2016 Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is now underway. This annual gathering of central bankers often provides important clues about what monetary policymakers think of the U.S. economy and what moves they plan to make to adjust the economy. That’s why business-oriented media is here. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

While tourists soak up the scenery of Grand Teton National Park, bankers and economists are tucked inside this lodge, out of public view and away from reporters. They’re discussing a very complex issue: how can the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks boost growth and jobs at a time when many world governments are reluctant to invest money of their own. The Fed has provided huge economic stimulus since the 2008 financial crash but some analysts say it may be time to let rates rise.

Jack Strauss from the Univ. of Denver Daniels College of Business states the main issue is interest rates have been at historic lows for seven years.

“The Federal Reserve has been pumping hundreds of billions of dollars. When will this stop?” Strauss said.

On Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is expected to offer her take on the economy, sending some sort of signal about when the central bank intends to resume interest rate hikes. This may indicate how the Fed might tackle the next economic downturn at a time when growth is slow already.

Some, like Shawn Sebastian from the Fed Up Coalition, argue higher borrowing costs will only hurt average workers. Particularly people of color.

“In that world we’re living in right now, why not try to get every job that we can, every gain in wages that we can,” said Sebastian.

On this Thursday afternoon, eight members of the Fed’s policy-making committee, some seen here last year, took the unusual step of meeting with members of Fed Up, an activist coalition of community and labor groups that wants the central bank to do even more to get the economy going.

Investors on Wall Street and elsewhere hope that Yellen offers some sort of indication of when interest rates might finally go back up. It may not happen soon, but Yellen is expected to lay out the general monetary path ahead.


William Black on the 2016 Economic Symposium

For more on the importance of the Jackson Hole summit, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori spoke to William Black, associate economics and law professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City.