Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is set to speak at the Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The speech will be his first since taking over as Chairman. Powell has been a critic of Trump’s trade policies and may use this opportunity to criticize Trump’s tariffs on China.
Jerome Powell is the Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve. He will be speaking at the Fed’s annual conference today. There are a lot of things that people can expect from his speech.
Credit… Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Expectations for what Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell will say at the central bank’s most significant annual meeting on Friday have shifted dramatically over the last several weeks.
Investors had anticipated Mr. Powell to use his comments at the Jackson Hole economic conference to outline the Fed’s strategy for “tapering” — or slowing down — a large-scale bond-buying program that has been used to boost the economy. Officials at the Federal Reserve are discussing the best time to make such a move, which would be the first step toward a more regular policy setting.
Few now anticipate a clear statement after minutes from the central bank’s July meeting indicated that the debate was far from settled, and as the Delta variety drives coronavirus infections higher and threatens the economy, according to Jeanna Smialek of The New York Times.
Mr. Powell’s virtual address may instead provide him with an opportunity to clarify how the Fed is thinking about Delta variation risks, recent fast inflation, and labor market improvement — and how all three fit into the central bank’s policy strategy.
The Fed has been purchasing $120 billion in government-backed bonds every month since March 2020, and its primary interest rate has been around zero since then. Both measures reduce borrowing costs, allowing companies and individuals to spend more and strengthening the labor market.
Officials have made a clear connection between their interest rate intentions and their new framework: in September, they said that they would not raise rates until the labor market had achieved full employment. Bond purchases have a less clear link, but they do serve as a reminder of the Fed’s patience.
Mr. Powell said at last year’s conference that the Fed would no longer increase interest rates to slow the economy just because unemployment was dropping and inflation was projected to rise. They needed evidence that prices were rising steadily, and they were willing to accept increases somewhat higher than their target of 2%.
He was setting the foundation for a much more patient strategy, recognizing the sad fact that interest rates, growth, and inflation had spent the twenty-first century in a strength-sapping downward cycle throughout advanced countries. The aim was to bring the slide to a halt.
But, at least on the surface, that background has changed a year later. Large government expenditure in response to the epidemic has boosted consumption and GDP in the United States, but inflation has soared to levels not seen in almost a decade. The job market is slowly but steadily improving, but it is still not completely recovered.
The Fed’s new framework is being put to the test as the economy recovers, and what central bankers do next may decide how revolutionary it is. Critics caution that withdrawing policy assistance too late may lead to economic or financial imbalances, while withdrawing it too soon could cause investors to doubt the Fed’s commitment to fostering a more equal labor market and stabilizing inflation patterns over time.
Mr. Powell will speak at 10 a.m., and we will broadcast his remarks live here.
The disclosures of the People’s Liberation Army’s hacking operations upset President Xi Jinping, who increased the Ministry of State Security’s responsibilities. Credit… Associated Press/Ng Han Guan
The broad variety of recent hacking targets seems to mirror a more active effort by Chinese government hackers: China’s primary espionage agency is recruiting from a large reservoir of private-sector expertise outside its own ranks.
China’s state surveillance system has become stronger, more intelligent, and more unpredictable thanks to this new gang of hackers. This new species of hacker, sponsored but not necessarily micromanaged by Beijing, targets both government and private businesses, combining conventional espionage with blatant fraud and other crimes for profit, according to Paul Mozur and Chris Buckly of The New York Times.
China’s new strategy is based on Russia’s and Iran’s methods, which have been tormenting public and commercial targets for years.
According to a US Department of Justice indictment published last year, Chinese hackers with ties to state security sought ransom in exchange for not disclosing a company’s computer source code. Another indictment claimed that a gang of hackers in southwest China combined cyber raids on Hong Kong democracy activists with fraud on gaming platforms.
Investigators think these organizations are to blame for a number of high-profile data thefts in recent months:
Following a series of botched assaults and a restructuring of the military, China’s methods altered when Xi Jinping, the country’s top leader, moved more hacking authority from the People’s Liberation Army to the Ministry of State Security.
Although the ministry portrays itself as a staunch supporter of the Communist Party in Beijing, its hacking operations may function similarly to local franchisees. Experts say that groups often operate on their own objectives, sometimes involving engaging in commercial cybercrime.
“We’re paying you to labor from 9 to 5 for China’s national security,” Dmitri Alperovitch, head of Silverado Policy Accelerator, a nonprofit geopolitical research group, stated. “It’s truly your business what you do with the remainder of your time and the tools and access you have.”
Jerome Powell is the current chair of the Federal Reserve. He will be speaking at the Fed’s annual conference this Friday. Reference: jerome powell next speech.
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