Fed Thoughts

He Who Must Not Be Named

Fed Thoughts White Paper
December 2019

Authors & Contributors

Chief Economist Vincent Reinhart discusses the structural problem underlying the Fed’s recent communication confusion.

Subtlety is not the forte of this generation of Federal Reserve officials. When they want a message to sink into the market psyche, they put coded words in the statement of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), make sure that there are catchphrases in the opening remarks of the Fed Chair at his press conference, and then repeat those words everywhere, every time, and with little evident embarrassment. Such repetition allows every FOMC participant to enjoy multiple moments in the media spotlight while the group still keeps the market narrative thread from unraveling.