markets

Fed's Brainard Speaks Soon, and Her Tone Might Sound Optimistic

  • Headline briefly posted on speech website struck sunny note
  • ‘When headwinds become tailwinds’ could be speech topic

One of the Federal Reserve’s most powerful advocates for patient monetary policy is speaking in a few hours in New York, and it sounds like she could deliver a pretty cheery review of the U.S. economy.

The Money Marketeers, who will host Governor Lael Brainard at 7 p.m., briefly said on their website last week that her speech will be about policy “when headwinds become tailwinds.” The Marketeers took that title down and replaced it with the blander “Economic and Monetary Policy Outlook.” If tailwinds are in fact the focus, it could mean that Brainard -- who for a long time warned -- is about to deliver a speech that’s pretty optimistic in tone.

That would be consistent with both the economic data and with her colleague’s recent statements. Growth abroad is looking stronger of late, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testified last week that his “personal outlook for the economy has strengthened since December.” If Brainard maintains the speech title posted by the Money Marketeers, she made be channeling her new boss.

“While many factors shape the economic outlook, some of the headwinds the U.S. economy faced in previous years have turned into tailwinds,” Powell said in congressional testimony.

Brainard hasn’t given a monetary policy-focused speech since October, so that’s leaving all eyes on the Fed’s top dove.

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