The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left interest rates unchanged at its meeting last month. However, the Committee statement released after the meeting effectively cancelled the series of future interest rate increases the FOMC had previously planned for 2019. The question is—why did the FOMC see the need for this policy change? Recent declines in inflation may explain part of the shift. But the likelier reason is the performance of the stock market—which is cause for concern.
February 8, 2019, 2:18 PM EST
January 4, 2019, 4:24 PM EST
If the past is any guide, many Americans will celebrate the New Year by making resolutions—to start a new diet, for example, or exercise more—that they’ll abandon before January is through. Healthy living requires a plan for the long run—and the determination to stick to that plan, even when doing so imposes inconveniences and costs in the short run.
November 2, 2018, 4:03 PM EDT
President Trump criticized the Federal Reserve again last week, singling out the central bank as the “biggest threat” to his administration’s success. Earlier, he accused the Fed of having “gone crazy” by raising interest rates too quickly. Many long-time Fed watchers were taken aback by these candid remarks, since previous Presidents have deliberately refrained from commenting on the Fed’s policy actions.
September 14, 2018, 10:43 AM EDT
Speaking at last month’s economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell described vividly the challenges that central bankers face in a world of constant change and uncertainty. These challenges make it impossible for the Fed to perfectly fine-tune the economy. Chair Powell’s preferred, gradual approach to raising interest rates is therefore justified. The Fed could meet these challenges even more effectively, however, by adopting and following a monetary policy rule.
December 12, 2017, 11:02 AM EST
The House of Representatives and Senate have now approved separate plans to overhaul the federal tax system. It now appears likely that a reconciliation process will quickly produce legislation that can pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Trump. Though far from perfect – it still leaves us with a tax code that is far too complex and riddled with inefficiencies – the final bill, if passed, should nevertheless provide a noticeable boost to the US economy.