Transcripts of the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve from 2002–2008.

Regarding the first question, the statement, I think the process is working well at this point, and so I don’t see any need for major changes in it. Given the consensus on moving forward on these projections, I think that fits in quite well with the existing process we have for the statement. My feeling is to minimize forward-looking comments in the statement. We never used to do this, and then we got into it with phrases like “considerable period,” and “patience,” and so forth, and then we evolved to a statement in which we say “future policy adjustments depend on the evolution of the outlook for inflation” and so forth, and the data coming in. So we don’t really have a forward-looking statement currently, but my preference is to use forward-looking statements only when it really is important to serve a specific purpose for the Committee. I tend to agree with Jeff Lacker that you could drop the last part of the statement.

On the governance issue, it seems artificial not to vote on the entire statement because we spend so much time talking about all parts of it. So on balance I would say, yes, we should vote on the entire statement. One issue was raised in the background material about whether the statement should be the Chairman’s or the Committee’s. I think it should be the Committee’s. It would put the Chairman in an awkward position not to have it as a statement of the Committee. If it wasn’t a statement of the Committee, people would try to pull us apart by asking us questions individually as to whether we agree with “the Chairman’s statement.” So I think the process we have now is just right and that it should be a Committee statement.

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