The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

What Should the Fed be Doing Now?

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Ahead of the Fed’s March meeting, Professor Charles Wheelan ’88 and Professor Andrew Levin have a conversation on the role of the Federal Reserve and potential next steps. Photo by Sally Kim.

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Both students and community members had questions for Professor Wheelan and Levin. Photo by Sally Kim.

16W Public Program_Federal Reserve

The public program “What Should the Fed be Doing Now?” saw one of the largest turn-outs of the term. Photo by Sally Kim.

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In December 2015 the Federal Reserve raised the interest rate from 0.00% to 0.25%, marking the first rate-hike in seven years. Due to negative responses from the market after the rate-hike and a perceived slowing of the economy at the end of 2015, the Fed’s Committee elected to keep rates steady at their January meeting. The next meeting where rates could potentially be raised again will take place in March. Seemingly small rate-hikes send major waves through the U.S. and international economies; thus, the Fed’s statements are analyzed extensively. While the Fed is seeking to scale back years of stimulus with 0.00% rates, Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) has given indicators that the ECB will adjust monetary policy to deliver an increased stimulus.

On Monday, February 22 at 4:30PM in Rockefeller 003, the Rockefeller Center hosted a well-attended public conversation about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy framework, including its governance and mission as well as its recent and prospective policy decisions. The lecture, “What Should the Fed be Doing Now?” drew on the well-rounded policy expertise of Professor Charles Wheelan ’88 and the monetary policy experience of Professor Andrew Levin.

Professor Charles Wheelan ’88 is a Senior Lecturer and Policy Fellow at Dartmouth College. He rejoined Dartmouth after departing his role as Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Harris School, where he earned his Ph.D in public policy. In addition to teaching economics and public policy courses, Professor Wheelan is a correspondent for The Economist. He is a prolific author: Wheelan has written freelance pieces for the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal; he has authored four books and spent time has a speech writer. Wheelan was a Congressional Candidate and is the founder of the Centrist Party.

Professor Andrew Levin spent two decades working at the Federal Reserve Board and was a special adviser to the former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Vice Chair Janet Yellen from 2010 to 2012. Levin brings extensive expertise on monetary policy to Monday’s conversation. His research on monetary policy has been published in distinguished academic journals and he has worked with many other central banks.

Submitted by Olivia O’Hagan ’16, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Public Programs

The views and opinions expressed and any materials presented during a public program are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences