Governments and money
A discussion of the history of attempts to protect the purchasing power of money, which contends that fostering competition among currencies may be the best way to generate economic growth through price stability.
Theory ahead of rhetoric: economic policy for a \\"new economy\\"
The most important theoretical developments in economics of the past 20 years undermine the notion that substantial benefits are to be had from policies aimed at smoothing what has come to be known as the ?business cycle.? These fine-tuning policies, moreover, may prove costly if their price is higher, unpredictable inflation. Although policymakers may have conquered the fine-tuning impulse, they have perpetuated the language that accompanies it. That is, the language of monetary policy has failed to keep pace with theory and practice. In a world where expectations matter, the language of ...
The Great Depression and Japan's more recent experience convinced some central bankers that deflation is dangerous. This report, however, argues that deflation is an acceptable economic outcome if it is occasional, small in magnitude, and accompanied by strong productivity growth. They analyze the economic impact of deflation and conclude that while the zero, or very low, nominal interest rates that often accompany deflation can cause problems, many of the problems attributed to deflation are not unique to falling prices per se. Some business people mistakenly fear deflation when the real ...
2013 Annual Report Why Inflation Is Very Low, and Why It Matters
One of the Federal Reserve?s mandates is maintaining stable prices. During my more than three decades in the Federal Reserve System, the focus has been primarily on avoiding high and variable inflation, and over most of that period, the Federal Reserve has successfully fulfilled its objective to keep inflation in check. More recently, however, our attention has turned to a less familiar concern?persistently low inflation. While high inflation has well-known costs for economic performance, the problems posed by persistently low inflation can be equally harmful. As its title promises, this ...
Theory ahead of rhetoric: measurement and the “New Economy”
The annual report essay discusses the measurement system used to track U.S. economic activity, and why it is not yet up to the task of effectively measuring aspects of economic activity that contribute the most to long-term economic growth. For historical reasons, our measuring system has concentrated on expenditure and output; going forward, though, it will need to gauge the true economic values of land, labor, and capital more accurately. Contemporary theories about the business cycle and economic growth indicate that conventional methods of measuring these factors fall short of what we ...
A puzzle for the world
An analysis of the strength of the U.S. dollar in 1984 and imbalances in U.S. international transactions.
Beyond price stability: a reconsideration of monetary policy in a period of low inflation
Proposals for making price stability the Federal Reserve's primary monetary policy objective still deserve serious consideration and support, but perhaps this objective should be considered in a broader context than has been the case in recent years.
Putting systemic risk on the radar screen
As the nation ponders its response to the greatest financial crisis in generations, plans for regulatory reform are everywhere. Proposals to break up big financial companies, create a new agency for consumer protection, and lay out additional rules for derivatives, insurance companies, and hedge funds?they?re all on the table.
Altered states: a perspective on 75 years of state income growth
According to a study featured in the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's 2005 Annual Report, differences in state income levels can be explained largely by two factors: innovation and workforce skills. The study's findings suggest that increasing a region's knowledge base should be a primary component of economic development strategies.
Maximum employment: what we know (and don’t know) about the labor market
Developing issues in the labor market are clouding the outlook for both the unemployment rate and the natural rate of unemployment over the next few years. Both rates at their current levels clearly argue for providing an accommodative monetary policy, as long as inflation remains consistent with the Federal Open Market Committee?s price stability objective. ; During the next few years, I expect that our economy will continue to grow, that unemployment will decline, and that inflation will average about 2 percent. Monetary policy will need to be adjusted in response to incoming data that may ...