Traders will be poring over a speech by Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell at a closely watched symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will speak on Friday, August 25, 2023, at the Economic Policy Symposium in Wyoming.


  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will likely speak on Friday morning
  • More information about the summit should be released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City starting on Thursday
  • The Federal Open Markets Committee is scheduled to meet again in September

Continuing measures to wrangle inflation and avert a U.S. recession are likely to be discussed at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual Economic Policy Symposium in Wyoming.

On Thursday, the event will kick off at the Jackson Lake Lodge at Grand Teton National Park near Moran, Wyoming. It will run through Saturday. The 46th so-called Jackson Hole symposium will focus on "structural shifts in the global economy."

Officials from the Kansas City Fed did not immediately respond to a request for comment from International Business Times about who exactly will be in attendance and what they will discuss. However, the full agenda of the event is expected to be posted on the bank's website on Thursday evening.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak, in his first public appearance since July, on Friday at 10 a.m. EDT. The speech is set to be live streamed on the Kansas City Fed's YouTube page.

"Papers and other materials will be posted on the Kansas City Fed's website as they are presented during the event," a Monday release from the Kansas City Fed said.

The annual event began in 1978 and is designed to serve as a venue for international central bankers, Fed officials and other policymakers to discuss economic matters.

The mountainside meeting will also be the inaugural symposium for newly minted Kansas City Fed President and CEO Jeffrey Schmid. Formerly the President and CEO of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking Foundation at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business in Dallas, Schmid took over on Monday. He replaced Esther George, who retired in January as required by the Fed's rules for its bank presidents.

The Kansas City Fed's release said the conference will likely "explore several significant, and potentially long-lasting, developments affecting the global economy." This includes the lingering effects of COVID-19 on the global economy.

"The policy response to the pandemic and its aftermath could have persistent effects as economies adjust to rapid shifts in the stance of monetary policy and a substantial increase in sovereign debt," the release said. "Papers will share how these developments are likely to affect the context for growth and monetary policy in the coming decade."

Any mentions of inflation, interest rates or a potential recession are conspicuously absent from the official event preview.

The symposium falls between the Fed's July and September Federal Open Markets Committee meetings. In July, the FOMC increased the target range of the federal funds rate by .25% to a range of 5.25% to 5.5%. It's currently at the highest rate in 22 years. The next meeting is set for Sept. 19-20.

Since March 2022, the Fed has adjusted its monetary policy 11 times in response to inflation driven by the after effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Economists are split on whether the body will decide to raise interest rates again.

The Fed continues to work for a so-called soft landing of returning year-over-year inflation in the U.S. to about 2% without a recession. The latest consumer price index report put the figure at 3.2%

Recent commentary from voting members of the committee and the minutes of the July FOMC meeting indicate the Fed may not be ready to pause rate hikes just yet.

The full impact of the Fed's monetary policy remains to be seen. However, the elevated rates set by the Fed are helping to send the interest rates Americans pay on major purchases like homes and on credit card debt into the stratosphere.

As of Aug. 17, average 30-year mortgage rates, according to Freddie Mac, were at 7.09% -- the highest level since 2001. This rate is keeping some Americans in their homes even if they want to move and making it harder to afford a new home.

As of May 2023, the latest available data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' Federal Reserve Economic Data service, commercial bank interest rate on credit card plans was 20.68%. That was the highest level ever reported in the data stretching back to November 1994.

Data from the same source indicates credit card debt is at the highest level ever reported in the data stretching back to June 2000. FRED's latest update, published Aug. 18, on consumer loans, credit cards and other revolving plans at all commercial banks pegged credit card debt at more than $1 trillion.