How Does Cracks Appear Within The Fomc 's Unity Essay

1606 WordsSep 26, 20167 Pages
Cracks Appear in the FOMC’s Unity Leadership at the Fed has, once again, been found wanting. After indicating in her Jackson Hole speech in late-August that the case for a higher policy rate had recently strengthened, Fed Chair Yellen has flip-flopped and sided with the dovish members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Her credibility as an effective communicator for the entire FOMC has, therefore, been compromised. Additionally, there are now clear signs of rising dissent amongst FOMC members, something which financial markets will have noted. The 20-21 September policy meeting released updated economic and federal funds rate projections and they indicate that the majority of members expect just one rise in the policy rate in 2016. This constitutes a downgraded assessment since June’s forecasts when two increases were projected. Meanwhile, expectations of rate hikes in 2017 have also been scaled back to two compared with three back in June. Furthermore, the anticipated terminal level of the federal funds rate has been modestly reduced to 2.875% from 3%. Given the continued projection of a long-term 2% inflation target, this implies that potential real GDP growth has been scaled back. The FOMC has duly obliged with a downward revision to 1.8% from 2%. Last week’s meeting concluded with the highest level of dissent since 1992. Fed Chair Yellen indicated that discussion was dominated about the timing of the next rate hike vis-à-vis whether a higher policy rate was

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