EconVue Spotlight August 24, 2017 | Jackson Hole "Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy"

posted by Lyric Hughes Hale on August 24, 2017 - 8:21pm

The Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City's annual economic symposium has begun in Jackson Hole this evening. The agenda for this year's meeting "Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy" has just become available and may be found here

The purpose of the symposium is to discuss emerging economic theories and policy prescriptives, but in times of economic uncertainty it assumes another dimension. Both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have recently announced plans to reverse quantitative easing, and markets are keen to know details. I doubt there will be any startling announcements prior to their respective September meetings. Beyond the speeches, the real work of the conference will be on the sidelines, as central bankers from around the world have multiple opportunities to speak informally about the challenges they face. 

Bleeding-edge monetary policy since the Financial Crisis has failed to achieve a robust recovery, and some might argue, has delayed it. None of the papers as outlined in the agenda appear to be directly focused on monetary policy, but instead look to solutions based on competitive markets, global trade, fiscal stimulus, and balanced growth.

Many had hoped post-election that fiscal stimulus, monetary easing’s twin, would have taken on some of this burden. Stymied by a lack of political consensus, US infrastructure spending has decreased and in 1H 2017 it was only 1.4% of GDP, the lowest level on record. Productivity in the construction industry for example, has halved since 1960. International trade has slowed and income inequality has worsened.

In an ultra-low interest rate environment, why has growth faltered, while debt has increased markedly? What can be done to make growth more equitable and balanced? These are the topics on the Jackson Hole agenda over the next several days. I will be analyzing individual papers as they are presented and will post links and my comments on Twitter @lyrichues.



USD: Jackson Hole Symposium to mark the end of the lull - BBH

Sandeep Kanihama 8/ 21/2017 FX Street

Is it the job of central banks to "foster a dynamic global economy"- or provide stability? Not much more stimulus they can supply. 


Stanley Fischer, Fed vice-chair, on the risky business of bank reform

Sam Fleming 8/15/2017 FT

Remarkable interview with Stan Fischer: US not an anchor but a source of volatility, uncomfortable with rapid rise of equities & deregulation. 


Public Works Funding Falls as Infrastructure Deteriorates

Binyamin Appelbaum  8/8/2017 NY Times

So infrastructure spending in the US is actually falling. 


6 reasons Congress shouldn't have any trouble passing tax reform

Grover Norquist 8/7/2017 The Hill

See Reason #5. The 2018 election.


Does Import Competition Induce R&D Reallocation? Evidence from the U.S.

Kaiji Gong and Rui Xu 8/10/2017 SSRN


Walmart reveals the most bizarre top seller in every state

Hayley Peterson and Skye Gould 8/16/2017  Business Insider

This is fascinating. Find your own favorite state, but the best seller in Illinois is puzzle storage. 



When easy money stops: Normalising credit policies will strain system

Desmond Lachman 8/23/2017 OMFIF

How a German court opinion could speed up the end of quantitative easing in Europe.


Is Productivity Growth Becoming Irrelevant?

Adair Turner 7/21/2017 INET Economics

Is productivity growth at odds with human welfare? 


The new dynamics of financial globalization

McKinsey Global Institute August 2017


The neoliberal road to autocracy

Ann Pettifor 5/17/2017 Int Politics & Society

Absolute poverty has been falling since 1820, most likely due to medical advances. Biggest decline was from 1950-1970.


As Japan looks for river of foreign talent, landlords erect a dam

Tsubasa Suraga 8/23/2017 Nikkei Asian Weekly



China's Property Slowdown Means Peak of Growth Cycle Has Passed

Bloomberg News 8/14/17


Xi loyalists grab the reins of pivotal projects

Katsuji Nakazawa 8/16/2017 Nikkei Asian Weekly 


China Expected to Step Up Use of Natural Gas

Luo Guoping and Fran Wang 8/18/2017 Caixin

Demand for coal and oil will fall, pollution becomes political metric. 


The “One Belt, One Road” project and the implications of Central Asia’s water crisis

Jesper Svensson  8/17/2017 Global Water Forum



Data Round-Up: Fed Regional Surveys Are Upbeat for August

Michael Lewis

FMI’s analyses of this morning’s August Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index, July Industrial Production report and the latest Weekly UI Claims and Rail Traffic results.


Pay Attention or Pay the Consequences: Investing in China

Marsha Vande Berg

It doesn't matter if the corporate governance is black or white, when it concerns Chinese companies -- stated owned or privately-held -- investors' due diligence is the only game worth playing. 


FinTech Waves

Collin Canright

This week's headline comes from a Bernard Lunn Daily FinTech column, in which he charts three "waves" of FinTech development. Those waves fit my own experience, though some of the milestones I would have picked are different. I spent a lot of time this week looking at bank websites. That, too, was a look back in time. No doubt that colored the links I picked. I see in them the tension between the entrenched technology of the past and emerging tech of the future.


India Celebrates 70 Years of Independence

Deepak Lalwani 

Deepak’s latest commentary on India’s political and economic status while celebrating its 70 years of independence. He concludes that “ Despite future challenges  and the journey ahead inevitably being filled with bumps, it is felt with optimism that the best is yet to come for India.”


The Collapse of Venezuela and Its Impact on the Region

R. Evan Ellis  

The situation in Venezuela is often mistakenly diagnosed as principally a political or economic crisis. It is better understood as a criminal act without precedent in Latin America: the capture and systematic looting of a state, achieved by first capturing its institutions through mass mobilization and bureaucratic machinations, then increasing control of the state through military force, as the criminal nature of the act and its consequences become apparent to the nation’s citizens.


Japan’s corporate governance stymies sustainable investing

Nicholas Benes

EconVue expert Nicholas Benes recent article in the FT: Many asset owners have not been mobilised to hold boards and executives accountable.