The Federal Reserve takes center stage this week, as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testifies on the state of monetary policy before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday and the House Financial Services Committee, each at 10 a.m. New York time. It will be his second semiannual report to Congress.
We live in an age flooded with information about monetary policy. Far gone are the days when analysts speculated on the likelihoods of Federal Open Market Committee action based on how fatly the chairman at the time, Alan Greenspan, had packed his briefcase.
So the semiannual report is valuable in providing a big picture view of the forces that go into regulators’ thinking, but is a smaller piece of the speculative puzzle than it once was.
Even so, the semiannual report, combined with the Fed Beige Book, a narrative overview of conditions in each of the Fed’s 12 districts, provides the most extensive overview of Fed thinking on the economy. The Fed Beige Book will be published on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Two other major reports will pique trader interest during the week: Housing starts on Wednesday and retail sales on Monday, each at 8:30 a.m.
And there’s another event from Fedworld: Fed Vice chairman Randal Quarles will give introductory remarks, via pre-recorded video, at the Alternative Reference Rates Committee Roundtable of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, on Wednesday at 9 a.m. The Roundtable meeting will be streamed here.