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Fed doves, Fed hawks: US central bankers in their words

Kitco News

Sept 25 (Reuters) - The labels “dove” and “hawk” have long been used by central bank watchers to describe the monetary policy leanings of policymakers, with a dove more focused on risks to the labor market and a hawk more focused on the threat of inflation.

The topsy-turvy economic environment of the coronavirus pandemic sidelined those differences, turning U.S. Federal Reserve officials at first universally dovish as they sought to provide massive accommodation to a cratering economy, and then, when inflation surged, into hawks who uniformly backed aggressive rate hikes. Now, divisions are more evident, with more varied choices: to raise rates again, skip for now but stay poised for more later, or take an extended pause.

All 12 regional Fed presidents discuss and debate monetary policy at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings, held eight times a year, but only five cast votes at any given meeting, including the New York Fed president and four others who vote for one year at a time on a rotating schedule.

The following chart offers a stab at how officials stack up on their outlook for Fed policy and how to balance their goals of stable prices and full employment. The designations are based on comments and published remarks; for more on the thinking that shaped these hawk-dove designations, click on the photos in the graphic.

Note: Fed policymakers have been driving up borrowing costs since March 2022 to bring down high inflation, and in July they increased the target policy rate range to 5.25%-5.5%.

Most policymakers as of September expected one more rate hike by year’s end. Neither Jeff Schmid, Kansas City Fed's president since August and a voter in 2025, nor Adriana Kugler, a permanent voter who was confirmed to the Fed Board in September, have yet made any substantive policy remarks. The St. Louis Fed has begun a search to succeed president, James Bullard, who took a job in academia; the new chief will be a 2025 voter.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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