John C Williams: The dual transformation of R&S and monetary policy

Remarks by Mr John C Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, at "A Look at the Past, Present, and Future", a conference celebrating the Centennial of the Division of Research and Statistics (R&S), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington DC, 8 November 2023.

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

Central bank speech  | 
15 November 2023

As prepared for delivery 


I'm so pleased and honored to speak at this event commemorating the Research & Statistics Centennial. It's great to see so many friends, colleagues, and-especially-the many mentors who have had such an impact on this institution, and on me personally.

Research & Statistics-affectionally known as R&S-is almost as old as the Federal Reserve itself. It has certainly made its mark over the past 100 years-and it continues to do so today. This is a testament to the leadership, high professional standards, and dedication to the Federal Reserve's mission ingrained in generations of R&S employees.

Other speakers will discuss key aspects of the evolution and contributions of R&S over the past century. I will focus my remarks on the past 30 years. This corresponds to my own time as a researcher and policymaker-as a member of R&S for the first seven years, then as a consumer of R&S products while at the San Francisco and New York Feds. In that time, the theory and practice of monetary policy have changed dramatically. Equally striking are the ways that transformation has influenced R&S research and analysis, and the ways the work of R&S has, in turn, influenced monetary policy.

Before I go any further, I need to give the standard Fed disclaimer that the views I express today are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) or others in the Federal Reserve System.

It Was 30 Years Ago Today-

To get a full appreciation of all that's happened in the past 30 years, I want to take you back to 1993. On a personal note, that was when I first interviewed for a job at the Board as a wet-behind-the-ears, 31-year-old grad student.