It’s getting harder to keep the Fed out of politics
By John Heltman
Every six weeks, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell steps to a podium and reads a statement from the Federal Open Market Committee. The statement explains where the panel has set its federal funds rate — the rate at which it pays interest on reserves held at the Fed, and effectively a systemwide floor for interest rates across the globe. Powell then explains how the FOMC is viewing current economic conditions and when or under which circumstances its stance on monetary policy might change. And then he takes questions from reporters….“Is there going to be a move to mandate the Fed set a certain amount of interest rates? No, not that I can see,” said Karen Petrou, managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics. “Is there going to be a move to bring the Fed under the appropriations process or alter the way even reserve bank presidents are appointed? Probably not. But that’s preserving only the form of institutional independence. “I think better questions are, ‘Is the Fed — on its own account, or under pressure — taking on or going to take on tasks that inevitably politicize it?’ Those, I think, are much more viable initiatives than direct politicization.”… Read the article or listen to Podcast here.