There are numerous annual academic conferences hosted by the dozen regional Federal Reserve Banks, from the Atlanta Fed’s Markets Conference (Amelia Island in May!) to the Chicago Fed’s Annual Economic Outlook Symposium (Windy City in December…), but few have captured market attention like the Kansas City Fed’s Jackson Hole Symposium hosted each August.
• The KC 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, although with today’s inflation volatility, long-run plans are mostly wishful thinking
• A “pivot” in monetary policy is little more than a hope at this point, though there are signs in July’s data of slower inflation and core growth
• Powell’s speech was short and highlighted the Fed’s commitment to keep going in slowing inflation (and growth) with rate hikes
The Jackson Hole mythos dates back to the Volcker Era, when in 1982, the tallest man in monetary policy joined the event, kicking off decades of participation by future Fed Chairs as well as central bank heads from other regions. Forty years after Volcker’s first appearance, the Chair’s speech discussing longer-run matters of monetary policy has become a regular feature of the Jackson Hole Symposium.