Richard H Clarida: The Federal Reserve's new framework - context and consequences

Speech (via webcast) by Mr Richard H Clarida, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at the "The Road Ahead for Central Banks", a seminar sponsored by the Hoover Economic Policy Working Group, Hoover Institution, Stanford, California, 13 January 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
14 January 2021

On August 27, 2020, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously approved a revised Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy, which represents a robust evolution of its monetary policy framework. At its September and December FOMC meetings, the Committee made material changes to its forward guidance to bring it into line with the new policy framework. Before I discuss the new framework in detail and the policy implications that flow from it, please allow me to provide some background on the reasons the Committee felt that our framework needed to evolve.

Motivation for the Review

As my FOMC colleagues and I indicated from the outset, the fact that the Federal Reserve System chose to conduct this review does not indicate that we believed we were poorly served by the framework in place since 2012. Indeed, I would argue that over the past eight years, the framework served us well and supported the Federal Reserve's efforts after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) first to achieve and then, for several years, to sustain-until cut short this spring by the COVID-19 pandemic-the operation of the economy at or close to both our statutorily assigned goals of maximum employment and price stability in what became the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. Nonetheless, both the U.S. economy-and, equally importantly, our understanding of the economy-have clearly evolved along several crucial dimensions since 2012, and we believed that in 2019 it made sense to step back and assess whether, and in what possible ways, we might refine and rethink our strategy, tools, and communication practices to achieve and sustain our goals as consistently and robustly as possible in the global economy in which we operate today and for the foreseeable future.