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Highlights From The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Sep 3, 2018 11:59 AM 2 min read

Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is a closely watched annual symposium, sponsored by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and held in Jackson hole, Wyoming, US. This year’s symposium took place on Aug 23- 25th 2018.


The symposium as such is one of the most well regarded finance and economics event

Keenly followed by industry participants across the world.


The symposium, focuses on economic issues facing the US and the world 

It brings together economists, central bankers, academics and other stakeholders from the financial market to foster the open discussion that the symposium is known for. Attendees are selected based on each year’s topic with consideration for diversity in region, background and industry. 


Theme for this year: "Changing Market Structures and Implications for Monetary Policy"

The conference largely discussed the market power of “superstar firms” like Amazon, Google etc in the U.S. and other developed economies. At a high level, arguments were made to adjust for the impact of ‘superstar firms’ such as Amazon on inflation due to the role played by them in lowering retail prices.  


Fed Chairman Jerome Powell defended lifting interest rates 

He laid out the case for continuing to raise rates whilst keeping stable inflation (target of 2%) and falling unemployment. This comes amidst President Donald Trump’s fairly well-documented disapproval of raising rates due to its perceived drag on US economic growth.


Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said, he does not see a systemic issue yet by the recent turmoil in Turkey and Argentina

However, he cautioned that trade wars coupled with an uptick in leverage and high asset prices could result in a toxic mix that could be a drag on global growth. This was the symposium where Raghuram Rajan presented a paper which is widely credited for predicting the 2009 financial crisis.


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