August 27, 2018 — Jackson Hole Symposium Held Last Week


During the annual economic gathering in Jackson Hole last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell defended the central bank’s strategy of gradually raising interest rates against criticisms that the central bank is moving either too quickly or too slowly, jeopardizing the economy’s expansion.

Powell said rates can continue to rise, as long as inflation is stable and unemployment is falling, to keep the economy steady.  He responded to his critics who think the Fed is moving too slowly, risking inflation or asset bubbles.  Powell stated he takes all views seriously, and the current path addresses the risks.

Minutes of the Fed’s most recent policy meeting signaled officials are ready to raise their short-term benchmark rate at their Sept. 25-26 meeting. The Fed has raised the rate twice this year, most recently in June, to a range between 1.75% and 2%.

Interest rates and currency markets are unpredictable.  By using of an appropriate hedging strategy, you can insulate your business from the negative impacts of volatility.  Interest rate swaps are a good way to lock in low rates now, just as forward FX contracts or FX options can be a way to avoid unpleasant surprises if the Dollar falls against foreign currencies.