Loretta J. Mester participates in the formulation of U.S. monetary policy, and oversees 1,000 employees in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh who conduct economic research, supervise banking institutions, and provide payment services to commercial banks and the U.S. government. She assumed her role as president and CEO in June 2014.
A number of financial stress measures were developed after the financial crisis of 2007–2009 in the hope that they could provide regulators with advance warning of conditions that might warrant a corrective response. The Cleveland Fed’s systemic risk indicator is one such measure. This Commentary provides a review of the SRI’s performance from 2001 to 2020 and finds that it has performed well, providing a reliable, valid, and timely signal of elevated levels of financial system stress.
In responding to the COVID-19 crisis, the Federal Reserve has both lowered the federal funds rate and provided forward guidance. We study whether the forward guidance given with the April and June 2020 FOMC meetings altered the public’s expectations of future policy rates, GDP growth, and inflation. We find that forward guidance was effective in altering the public’s expectations about future policy rates if it was accompanied by an SEP but not expectations about economic fundamentals. We suggest that the difference might be explained by FOMC statements being interpretable in two different ways and the public not having a dominant view on which interpretation was intended.