February 2014


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This monthly webcast provides the latest insights from TCB’s Economics Team for the U.S. economy, including the short –term growth forecasts for consumption, investment, labor markets and the aggregate GDP growth.

As a special topic, this Economics Watch discusses U.S. monetary policy and financial markets. For the past five years the Federal Reserve engaged in aggressive quantitative easing, whereby it has massively increased the size of its balance sheet by buying long-term bond assets in the open market.  The Federal Reserve decided to embark upon this unconventional monetary policy since the U.S. economy continued to perform at unsatisfactorily low levels that has left the unemployment rate at an uncomfortably high level and it is unable to lower short-term interest rates since they are already at zero percent.  However, the Fed expects economy to gradually strengthen and decided to slowly taper its quantitative easing operations in January by reducing its monthly purchases of bonds from $85 billion to $75 billion. The Fed will eventually even start to raise short-term interest rates, but not likely to begin until 2015 at the earliest.  Many questions surround the efficacy of the Fed’s exit strategy and the impact on the financial markets and the supply of credit to the economy.  We will explore the many challenges and possible impact of the Fed’s eventual tightening of monetary policy.

Speakers

Bart van Ark, Ph.D.

Bart van Ark, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President., Chief Economist & Chief Strategy Officer
The Conference Board

Bart van Ark is executive vice president, chief economist & chief strategy officer of The Conference Board. He leads a team of almost two dozen economists in New York, Brussels and Beijing who produce a range of widely watched economic indicat... Full Bio

Kathy Bostjancic

Kathy Bostjancic
Director for Macroeconomic Analysis
The Conference Board

Kathy Bostjancic is director for macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board. A specialist in the U.S. economy and financial markets, she is a member of the team that produces the U.S. economic forecast and global outlook for The Conference Boa... Full Bio

Ward McCarthy

Ward McCarthy
Managing Director and Chief Financial Economist
Jefferies & Company, Inc.

Dr. F. Ward McCarthy joined Jefferies and Company as a managing director and the chief financial economist in the fixed income division in September, 2009.  Ward is responsible for the Jefferies U.S. economic, Federal Reserve, Treasury and fi... Full Bio

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