Jackson Hole Economic Symposium

Jackson Hole Economic Symposium

What is the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium?

The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is an annual symposium, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City since 1978, and held in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Since 1981. Each year, the symposium focuses on an important economic issue facing global economies are facing. Participants are central bankers and eminent finance ministers, as well as academics and key players in the financial markets around the world.

The debates of the symposium are closely followed by market players, because unexpected remarks emanating from the heavyweights of the symposium have the potential to affect the world stock and money markets.

Key points to remember

  • The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is an annual, exclusive conference of central banks to foster open discussion on important and current political issues.
  • Conference papers and transcripts are compiled in journal books, which are published on the website and published in a volume available free online or in print.
  • Topics for consideration at the conference include the impact of tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google on big business (2020) and financial stability following a global recession (2020).

Understanding the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium

The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is one of the oldest central banking conferences in the world. The mission of the event is to foster an open discussion. Participants are selected based on the theme of each year, with additional attention paid to creating regional diversity among participants.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas charges participants a fee to cover expenses associated with the symposium. About 120 people generally attend it annually, representing a variety of backgrounds and industries. However, the participation of participants is limited and certain media are also invited. This not only keeps the symposium on track, but also gives it transparency.

Each year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas selects a specific topic for the symposium and chooses a group of participants based on that topic. These experts write and present research related to the theme of the symposium. The bank publishes the documents online, as well as the complete transcripts of the event. Anyone wishing to consult them can do so free online or obtain a free printed copy after their publication.

Example of topics prior to the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium

Changes in market structures and implications for monetary policy (2020)

With the rise of tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google, has the amassed market power of these big companies hurt the economy in general – or could it? Should antitrust authorities take firmer action?

Central bank balance sheets and financial stability (2020)

In the wake of the global financial crisis, central banks around the world have used various tactics to revive the economies of their countries. While the traditional tactic of lowering interest rates to reduce borrowing costs was widely used, many central banks also adopted a more unconventional approach of strengthening their balance sheets by acquiring financial assets, such as sovereign, agency and corporate bonds, and in some cases stocks, in large quantities.

Causes of inflation (1984)

A major and permanent consideration for central bankers, central banks are trying to stay one step ahead of inflation by setting interest rates to avoid rapid and disruptive price increases. Nowadays, preventing inflation is no longer as simple as it used to be. The global economy is inundated with liquidity, normally a source of ignition for inflation, as more money pursues the same amount of goods, leading to ever higher prices, but inflation is nowhere to be found.

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