Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen and former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer will moderate discussions this month at the Kansas City Fed’s Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
In contrast with recent years, there will be no keynote address on the first full day of the conference, which is Aug. 23. Ben S. Bernanke, who has given the introductory speech every year since becoming Fed chairman in 2006, doesn’t plan to attend the conference. The agenda was provided to attendees under embargo. Bank of America Corp. published details of the schedule in a research note yesterday.
“Despite an interesting docket of speakers and presenters from a central banking perspective, with no major Fed officials scheduled to speak, the markets are likely to pay a lot less attention to Jackson Hole than in the past,” Bank of America economists Ethan Harris and Michael Hanson wrote in the note.
Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, will appear at the conference, according to the IMF. The gathering will also feature remarks from Agustin Carstens, governor of the Bank of Mexico, and Frank Smets, research director from the European Central Bank, according to Bank of America. A panel discussion on Aug. 24 will feature the Bank of Japan’s governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, and the Central Bank of Brazil’s governor, Alexandre Tombini.
Entitled “Global Dimensions of Unconventional Monetary Policy,” the conference will feature a number of presentations from academics. Harris and Hanson said a paper from Arvind Krishnamurthy of Northwestern University titled “The Transmission of Unconventional Monetary Policy” will provide “a hot topic of debate.”
“An argument for a limited impact of QE would likely be interpreted by the markets as suggesting the Fed should and will taper quickly and end QE3 sooner rather than later,” Hanson and Harris said in their note, referring to bond buying known as quantitative easing.
The Kansas City Fed’s economics symposium in Jackson Hole has been closely watched by investors for signs of changes in central bank policy. The last time a Fed chairman didn’t address the conference was in 1988, when Alan Greenspan didn’t speak.
High-profile speeches at the Wyoming gathering have made the event among the most-watched in central banking. In 2010, Bernanke’s remarks were seen as a signal that the Fed would start a second round of large-scale asset purchases. The purchases began in November of that year.
Last August, Bernanke told the conference that “the costs of nontraditional policies, when considered carefully, appear manageable, implying that we should not rule out the further use of such policies if economic conditions warrant.”
The Fed began its third round of asset purchases the month after Bernanke spoke. In December, it more than doubled the size of the program to $85 billion a month from $40 billion.
The Kansas City Fed’s annual economics symposium was first moved to Wyoming in 1982 to lure then-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, an avid fly fisherman, according to “In Late August,” a history of the event published by the Kansas City Fed.