Fed’s Dual Mandate
In its efforts to stabilize prices and maximize employment in the United States, the Federal Reserve grapples with a delicate balancing act known as the dual mandate. This dual mandate aims to strike a harmonious chord between maintaining low, steady prices and fostering an economy that offers employment opportunities to all who seek them. However, achieving both objectives can present inherent contradictions and challenges.
According to Danielle DiMartino Booth, founder, and CEO of QI Research, the pursuit of price stability can conflict with efforts to maximize employment. She asserts that achieving full employment without triggering price pressures is virtually impossible. The Federal Reserve faces the dilemma of deciding when to raise interest rates in response to overheated prices, which can influence a decrease in borrowing.
Conversely, when interest rates are low, businesses are more inclined to create additional jobs as borrowing becomes cheaper. The International Monetary Fund supports this viewpoint, emphasizing the positive correlation between low-interest rates and job creation. This perspective prompts some economists to advocate for a shift towards a single target, focusing primarily on price stability to maintain confidence in purchasing power. Thomas Hoenig, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, advocates for this approach, suggesting it would benefit the long run. However, proponents of the dual mandate argue that it remains a crucial framework for preserving the safety and stability of the U.S. economy. David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution, emphasizes that the dual mandate strengthens the influence of those within the Fed who prioritize employment concerns alongside inflation. This perspective acknowledges the complex interplay between these two aspects and aims to strike a balance that addresses both.
What do you think of the dual mandate? And how will it affect the market going forward?
Want to learn how to invest? Download the Invstr app, where you can play Fantasy Finance and manage a virtual investment portfolio or open a brokerage account and invest for real. Take our interactive investing course on Invstr Academy and become a better investor today!
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.