The Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium is an annual event in which policymakers and academics debate monetary policy frameworks. Traditionally, the Fed Chair provides a detailed policy outlook at the conference, though the importance of that outlook is more myth than reality. Fed Chair Jay Powell’s 2021 Jackson Hole speech had few surprises and largely reiterated his other public statements from recent weeks. Provided job growth continues, Powell clearly anticipated the FOMC will reduce or “taper” bond purchases in the next two FOMC meetings.

The Kansas City Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is an annual forum in which senior Fed officials, foreign central bankers, and economists convene to debate major monetary policy issues of the moment. Although traditionally very much an academic conference, the meeting has taken on an almost mythological importance. Ben Bernanke used it in the wake of the global financial crisis to unveil new policy tools and foreshadow major decisions, such as the launch of Operation Twist in 2010. Janet Yellen, Bernanke’s immediate successor (and now Treasury Secretary), maintained the tradition of a Chair’s speech, but largely stuck to issues of policy framework to outline how the FOMC would be making its future decisions.

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Guy LeBas

Director, Custom Fixed Income Solutions

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