Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell listens during his re-nominations hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. | Pool photo by Brendan Smialowski
Christopher Leonard is a business reporter whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. He is the author of Kochland and The Lords of Easy Money: How the Federal Reserve Broke the American Economy.
In August, central bankers and economic pundits from around the world descended on Jackson, Wyo., to hear the keynote speech at the Federal Reserve’s annual symposium. In the days afterward, the world’s smartest economic brains were all focused on trying to interpret the most important word from the speech: “pain.”
Fed Chair Jerome Powell was sending one clear message to global money managers: The Fed is deadly serious about reducing inflation, the bank won’t back off and the results are going to hurt. Specifically, Powell promised that the Fed will continue to hike interest rates and keep them elevated until the bank has brought inflation down from over 8 percent, where it is now, to the Fed’s target of about 2 percent. This week, the Fed is expected to announce another large increase at its regular policy meeting.