Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022

What Is Jackson Hole Symposium Where Global Central Bankers, Economists Are Meeting

The meeting is conducted by the US Federal Reserve and it hosts economists, central bankers and policymakers from across the world

Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole Shutterstock

The Federal Reserve's three-day annual conference began at Jackson Hole on Thursday in Wyoming, with the focus on what Fed Chair Jerome Powell might say when he speaks at the conference at 7:30 pm Indian time on Friday. Investors will be looking for clues on how much higher US interest rates might need to go and for how long, if inflation does not significantly fall from its current 40-year highs.

Investors have reduced expectations that the Fed could pivot to a slower pace of rate hikes, as US inflation remains at 8.5 per cent on an annual basis, well above the central bank's 2% target. But Powell's speech at the Fed's annual conference will be scrutinised for any indication that an economic slowdown might alter its strategy, news agency Reuters reported.

History Of Jackson Hole Symposium

The meeting is conducted by the US Federal Reserve and it hosts economists, central bankers and policymakers from across the world. This meet will see the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City hosting dozens of central bankers, policymakers, academics and economists from around the world at its annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  

The goal of the Symposium when it began was to provide a vehicle for promoting public discussion and exchanging ideas. Throughout the event’s history in Jackson Hole, attendees from 70 countries have gathered to share their diverse perspectives and experiences. 

When officials of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City sought a location for an annual economic symposium in 1982, they chose Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a simple reason: It had fly-fishing, AP reported.

Paul Volcker, the Fed chairman at the time, was known to enjoy the pastime, and it was hoped that the opportunity to do some fishing would draw Volcker away from Washington, D.C.’s late August heat. The ploy worked, and the Fed has held a conference there in late August ever since.

Climate Change Concerns

Now, though, warmer waters in Jackson Lake and the Snake River it empties into have led the Park Service to urge anglers to restrict their fishing to the morning hours. Catch-and-release fishing, the most common practice here, is harder on the fish when water is warmer, and the fish are also harder to catch later in the day.

Many academic economists and central bankers from around the world attend the Fed’s conclave in Jackson Hole, a valley nestled amid the majestic Teton mountain peaks. The signs of climate damage are among the ways in which the region’s challenges are evident alongside the idyllic setting. The nearby town of Jackson is also struggling with soaring home prices, labor shortages and widening economic inequality.

Jackson Lake, visible from the lodge that hosts the Fed’s symposium, is just 36 per cent full. That is nearly as severe as last summer, when drought conditions were even worse and water levels reached one of the lowest levels in 30 years.

Rain has been better this year, though it was so heavy in June that it caused major flooding in nearby Yellowstone Park, closing sections for the park for weeks. The shutdown has thrown many wildlife guides and other park employees out of work, said Cody Pitz, a local coordinator for the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group.