At Fed’s Jackson Hole retreat, demonstrators push for economic change

Global Business

At Fed's Jackson Hole retreat, demonstrators push for economic change.00_01_47_11.Still001

It’s the day central bankers and top global financial figures have been waiting for. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivers long-awaited remarks to cap off the Jackson Hole Symposium. Outside the meetings, some demonstrators say full employment in the U.S. should be a top priority.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

At Fed's Jackson Hole retreat, demonstrators push for economic change

At Fed's Jackson Hole retreat, demonstrators push for economic change

It’s the day central bankers and top global financial figures have been waiting for. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivers long-awaited remarks to cap off the Jackson Hole Symposium. Outside the meetings, some demonstrators say full employment in the U.S. should be a top priority. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

“We are here to do everything we can to remind Fed policymakers that we need an economy that works for all of us,” Shawn Sebastian, Fed Up Coalition Field Director said.

As Federal Reserve officials gathered here in Jackson Hole to plot the next steps for America’s economy, some members of the Fed-Up Coalition of community and labor groups spoke of their financial struggles.

“I’ve been looking for a job for like seven months and it just seems like I go on interviews and I just haven’t gotten a job yet,” said demonstrator Ramona Charles, who is still unemployed.

To help low-wage workers, this group wants the Fed to keep fueling the economy by keeping interest rates very low.

“[If] The Federal Reserve starts slowing the economy, it starts halting progress in reducing unemployment before the benefits of that reach the last people to be hired,” said Josh Bivens from Economic Policy Institute.

At a highly unusual meeting Thursday, ten central bankers heard that message in person.

“We’re going to keep this economy growing. We’re going to run it hot, and get unemployment down lower,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President, John Williams said.

Federal Reserve officials said full employment is one of their goals.

“My objective is absolutely not to slow down the economy. That would be irresponsible,” Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George said.

But they also worry raising interest rates too late could cause inflation to roar to life.

“One of the ways that you get maximum employment is to make sure that you don’t allow excesses to build up to the point that you have a recession which hurts everybody in the room,” Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said.

Besides, they added, those who need to save, like the elderly, are also weighing in on this issue.

“You’re killing me. When are you gonna raise interest rates so that senior citizens have enough income that they can get by,” said Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

It’s a tricky balance, these bankers said, making the economy work for everyone.

The debate over monetary policy and the Federal Reserve’s role in steering the economy is front and center like never before.

“And so honestly this meeting today is enormously helpful,” said Neel Kashkari, the president of Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

“This is not the first discussion. It’s one of many and they’re many more to come,” Neel Kashkari said.


John Allison on Jackson Hole and its impact on U.S. economy

For more about Jackson Hole Symposium and global macro-economic issues, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori interviewed John Allison, CEO of Union Capital.