The Shifting Debate on Interest Rates in Jackson Hole
This article discusses the shifting focus of the annual Jackson Hole symposium from interest rates to ultraeasy money policies, and examines significant international developments that could impact the global economy. It highlights the upcoming sympo...
Troy D. Hanson
August 25, 2023
JACKSON, Wyo. — The annual late-summer gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyo. has become a platform for top economists, policy makers, and central bank officials to explore the future of the global economy. This year, the focus has subtly shifted from how high interest rates will rise to how long they will remain restrictive. Additionally, a question looms: will the ultraeasy money policies of the past return?
Over the next two days, experts will dive into these topics and more, presenting rigorous economic research and engaging in panel discussions centered around the symposium's theme: "Structural Shifts in the Global Economy." While Chairman Jerome Powell's speech draws significant attention each year, it is just a small fraction of the three-day event.
Hosted by the Kansas City Fed, this year's Jackson Hole symposium aims to examine several significant international developments that have emerged since the Covid-19 pandemic. These include shifting trade networks, a rapid tightening of monetary policy, and a substantial increase in sovereign debt. All these factors have the potential to shape the global economy in the long run.
Academic research presented during the symposium will analyze how these changes are likely to impact growth and monetary policy over the next decade.
The Jackson Hole Symposium: A Glimpse into the Future of the Global Economy
This year's Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, set to take place on August 26th and 27th, is poised to be more significant than ever. Amidst economic turmoil, rising inflation, and increasing interest rates, experts will gather to look ahead and ponder the possibility of a new normal. The central question that will be explored is: if the current situation is not the new normal, then where are we headed?
The symposium will commence with opening remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday morning. While other notable figures are scheduled to speak, Powell will be the only one whose speech will be broadcasted to the public.
Notably, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will deliver a luncheon address on Friday. Additionally, Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda, Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent, and World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will participate in a panel discussion on Saturday morning titled "Globalization at an Inflection Point."
Following their presentations, the academic papers discussed during the symposium will be made publicly available for further analysis and scrutiny.
Historically, the Jackson Hole Symposium has been a breeding ground for revolutionary economic ideas. Over its 40-plus years of existence, it has offered prescient insights into the state of the global economy. For instance, in 2005, economist Raghuram Rajan delivered a scathing critique of financial developments that were occurring under Chairman Alan Greenspan. With Greenspan in attendance, Rajan warned about the increasing risks associated with credit-default swaps and soaring housing prices, predicting a potential "full-blown financial crisis."
Similarly, in 2014, then-ECB President Mario Draghi addressed the issue of falling inflation in the euro area and proposed the need for stronger measures to combat it. Subsequently, the ECB implemented bond purchases and embarked on extensive quantitative easing efforts several months later.
As we eagerly await this year's symposium, we hope to witness profound discussions that shape our understanding of the global economy. The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium has the potential to pave the way for a brighter future, offering invaluable insights for policymakers and economists alike.