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

Kitco News

Sept 29 (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.

Lisa Cook, Governor, permanent voter: “If confirmed, I will stay focused on inflation until our job is done.” June 21, 2023
John Williams, New York Fed President, permanent voter: "My current assessment is that we are at, or near, the peak level of the target range for the federal funds rate." Sept. 29, 2023
Jerome Powell, Fed Chair, permanent voter: "We want to see convincing evidence really, that we have reached the appropriate level.” Sept 20, 2023
Christopher Waller, Governor, permanent voter: “There's nothing that is saying we need to do anything imminent anytime soon, so we can just sit there, wait for the data, see if things continue." Sept. 5, 2023
Austan Goolsbee, Chicago Fed President, 2023 voter: “Believing too strongly in the inevitability of a large trade-off between inflation and unemployment comes with the serious risk of a near-term policy error.” Sept. 28, 2023
Philip Jefferson, Governor and Vice Chair Designate, permanent voter: “The economy faces multiple challenges, including inflation, banking-sector stress, and geopolitical instability. The Federal Reserve must remain attentive to them all.” June 21, 2023
Michael Barr, Vice Chair of Supervision, permanent voter: “I'll just say for myself, I think we're close.” July 10, 2023
Michelle Bowman, Governor, permanent voter: "I continue to expect that further rate hikes will likely be needed to return inflation to 2% in a timely way." Sept 22, 2023
Patrick Harker, Philadelphia Fed President, 2023 voter: "Right now, I think that we've probably done enough.” Aug. 24, 2023
Mary Daly, San Francisco Fed President, 2024 voter: “Patience is a prudent strategy." Sept 22, 2023
Neel Kashkari, Minneapolis Fed President, 2023 voter: "Today I put a 40% probability" on the scenario that “we would have to push the federal funds rate higher, potentially meaningfully higher.” Sept 26, 2023
Loretta Mester, Cleveland Fed President, 2024 voter: "Probably we need to bring rates up another notch….It doesn't necessarily have to be September, but I think this year.” Aug. 26, 2023
Raphael Bostic, Atlanta Fed President, 2024 voter: "I feel policy is appropriately restrictive.” Aug. 31, 2023
Susan Collins, Boston Fed President, 2025 voter: “I expect rates may have to stay higher, and for longer, than previous projections had suggested." Sept. 22, 2023
Lorie Logan, Dallas Fed President, 2023 voter: “My base case, though, is that there is work left to do.” Sept. 7, 2023
Thomas Barkin, Richmond Fed President, 2024 voter: "It's good for the Fed to take some time and see how the data plays out.” Sept. 28, 2023

Note: Fed policymakers began raising interest rates in March 2022 to bring down high inflation. Their most recent policy rate hike, to a range of 5.25%-5.5%, was in July.

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 Andrea Ricci

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