Interesting Conversation with Fed Chair Powell

Sep 19, 2023 | Finconomics 101, No Bull Economics

Potential Conversation with Fed Chair Powell Banner

Okay, Powell didn’t actually take our call, but we offer a transcript of a potential discussion between the Fed Chair and John Q. Public. It’s very insightful, so please read on.

Background

  • Mr. John Q. Public had a little money left over from his covid relief payments so he thought we would take a vacation with his family to Jackson Hole. Since it was off-season (he doesn’t know how to ski anyhow), Mr. Public got a good deal on his reservation at the Jackson Hole Econo Lodge. Also, gas prices were finally low enough for him to afford the 8-hour drive.  
  • Funny thing was that his trip overlapped Powell’s Jackson Hole Symposium in August. Who knew these 2 would meet at the local Cracker Barrel where Mr. Public was treating his family to a meal out while Powell was doing a PR photo shoot to show the world that he is really an everyday man.  
  • So, this is how John Q. Public came to meet Fed Chair Jerome Powell in the Cracker Barrel men’s room in Jackson Hole & here is their private conversation that ensued:

Transcript

  • Powell: What a nice place Jackson Hole is…
  • Q Public: Yeah, my family loves it here, although we can only afford 2 nights here because the cost of everything is so high.
  • Powell: Exactly! This is what I’ve been telling everyone. We are not being fair to hard-working Americans by tolerating all this inflation.
  • Q Public: You can control this? What is your job?
  • Powell: Well, it’s complicated but let’s just say I will fix things for you and your family.
  • Q Public: Awesome, how will you do that?  
  • Powell: It’s simple actually! I control interest rates and have an easy-to-understand plan. I will raise interest rates until the ensuing financial pressure causes enough employers to fire their workers.
  • Q Public: Wait, I don’t want to lose my job. I’ll stick with 2-night vacations if I can keep food on the table.
  • Powell: That’s very selfish of you. We need more volunteers who are willing to sacrifice their paying jobs so that demand for goods & services drops enough to lower the PCE.
  • Q Public: PCE? Will you also lose your job to help out?
  • Powell: How dare you. I’m very important and, besides, my employer has very deep pockets, so I’m not worried about it.
  • Q Public: Yikes, how do I get a job working for you?
  • Powell: Did you go to Harvard? Georgetown?
  • Q Public: I think I hear my wife calling… Nice chatting!

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