Economist Austan Goolsbee named next Chicago Fed president

Austin Goolsby will replace Charlie Evans as president of the Chicago Fed in January

Economist Austin Goolsby will take over as president of the Chicago Federal Reserve early next year as the central bank makes major policy moves, according to an announcement on Thursday.

Goolsby will officially take office on January 9, 2023, completing the term started by the retiring Charles Evans, which ends on February 28, 2026.

Currently a professor at the prestigious University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Goolsby previously served as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2010-11 under then-President Barack Obama.

“Astan is an exceptional choice to be the next president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He is a highly accomplished economist with extensive policy experience and a strong commitment to public service,” said Helen Gill, Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Board of Governors. has commitment.” said in a statement.

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Goolsbee comes to the Chicago Fed at a critical time for the central bank.

As part of efforts to combat the highest rate of inflation in more than 40 years, the Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate a half-dozen times this year and is expected to raise at least the first half of 2023. to continue Some economists worry that the Fed is too tight and could lead to a recession.

In recent comments to CNBC, Goolsbee indicated that the slowdown shown in recent inflation data points will not be enough to get the Fed to pull back much from its policy tightening.

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“If you’re going up 75 basis points in one session, then we’re going to figure out what the pivot time is,” he said after an October consumer price index report that showed inflation rose less than expected on a monthly basis. “Until you get that core monthly inflation down to a comfortable range, I think the voices saying ‘slow, cool’ will still be somewhat muted.”

Goolsby will not be a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee on rate-setting in 2023. However, he will still have a say on policy and will be a voter in 2025.

A Chicago Fed press release announcing the appointment said the district’s new director is “a leading, experienced economist” whose research spans a variety of topics. The release also notes that Goolsby was an advocate of alternative measures of inflation.

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Goolsby called the Chicago Fed “one of the crown jewels” of the central bank system.

“I am humbled and excited to serve the public in this role,” he said in a statement. “These are challenging, unprecedented times for the economy. The Bank plays an important role in helping the district to support them and move forward.”

The Fed has seen significant change recently with governors and regional presidents moving in and out as voting members.

New members include local presidents Lori Logan of Dallas and Susan Collins of Boston, as well as governors Philip Jefferson and Lisa Cook.

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