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

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I, too, am relatively new to this process of watching the sausage being made. I have to confess up front that I’m a bit schizophrenic about this because I’m really of two minds in terms of the direction I think about, and I’m persuadable either way. Part of me, as Jeff said, has argued that maybe the forecasting exercise is going to take some pressure off all the nuances and the time we spend on the statement. As Governor Kroszner mentioned, no matter how soon we get the minutes out, it’s going to be tough to do that. So I’m sympathetic to that argument. My view is that the minutes really provide the nuance of what goes on in the Committee, and I think that’s incredibly important. The only thing I worry about in terms of the statement is that it can’t provide that nuance and it gets so much attention in the marketplace so immediately so that part of me says either we want to enrich the statement and get rid of some of the inertia that’s in it, and make it longer or just make it shorter. So a part of me says that maybe what we really ought to say in the statement is just section 1 and section 4 and let the nuance of how we got there and what our views are be elaborated in the minutes. So a part of me says that it would be a simplification that tells the markets what we did and how we view the assessment of risk as we look at the economy, but it doesn’t try to tell them all of the details of what went on. We let the minutes do that. I can live with the statement with way it is, but I think there might be some advantages in simplifying it so that we don’t spend so much time arguing over the nuances of the rationales and other things. Besides that, we’d get capacity utilization out of there if possible and just go with the overall assessment of the risk, and then let the minutes speak for themselves in terms of the nuances of the discussion.

On the governance question, I agree with everybody else. I think that it has been implicitly a statement of the Committee. The Committee ought to vote on it. If you took sections 2 and 3 out, there would be a lot less wordsmithing and a lot less worrying about whether the words were exactly right and what each of us might have meant or preferred to say. So it might even make it easier to have a Committee vote on that, and they’d have to worry about fewer things. Those are just some thoughts.

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