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

I think there’s a fine line here. It’s extremely important for us not to be taking positions, exactly along the lines that have been suggested. But there is a question about educating the public about the issues, not about the specifics. Because of the fine line, I’m not sure how we should think about this question: Whatever we decide, at some point we don’t want to just spring it on the public, for obvious reasons. There is a role for communication in terms of educating the public about the issues, many of which we have been discussing—for example, in speeches about the importance of anchoring inflation expectations. Now, how we communicate that is actually one of the issues that we have to discuss. Having the public understand what monetary policy is about is very important in terms of the education process, and yet we also need to make sure that we are not getting into any details. So there’s a fine line here. It might be interesting to hear from other participants about how we can achieve getting the public to understand what monetary policy is really about, which a lot of the public doesn’t, and yet not actually create expectations that we’re going to go one way or another in terms of communication. We certainly don’t want to cut off this discussion, which has been ongoing between the Federal Reserve and the public—actually quite successfully. It’s amazing when you look where the public was ten years ago versus where they are now, and it’s because of the speeches, articles, and other written communication that the System has been doing quite successfully.

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