Date
25 March 2019
Janet Yellen, the former chairperson of the US Federal Reserve, will be a star speaker at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong later this month. Photo: Bloomberg
Janet Yellen, the former chairperson of the US Federal Reserve, will be a star speaker at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong later this month. Photo: Bloomberg

Janet Yellen is coming to town

If you are a Donald Trump hater -– and there are plenty of you out there, including in the financial markets where one often lost money due to the unpredictable US leader — here is something you would not want to miss.

Former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen is coming to Hong Kong this month to speak at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference. 

The ex-central bank chief, who is currently a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, will hold forth on March 25 on the topic “Where does global monetary policy go in a post-QE world?”

Well, the interest rate up-cycle might soon end, but not her criticism on Trump, who had opted to replace the first-ever female Fed boss and also reportedly wanted to fire her successor, Jerome Powell.

Last month, the Yale-trained doctor of economics criticized Trump for not understanding economic policy or the Federal Reserve’s purpose.

Speaking on American Public Media’s Marketplace radio program, Yellen said Trump does not seem to understand the Fed’s two responsibilities of controlling inflation and supporting employment.

“Well, I doubt that he would even be able to say that the Fed’s goals are maximum employment and price stability, which is the goals that Congress have assigned to the Fed,” Yellen said.

Now, it would be interesting to see what the former Fed chief will say in her keynote event at the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference, which will be held March 25-28 in Hong Kong.

Apart from her views on the US political leadership, attendees would be eager to listen to Yellen’s comments on economic and monetary policy and, more importantly, the US-China trade war. 

Although Washington and Beijing are said to be making progress in their trade talks – market expectations are currently running high that the two sides will reach an agreement — no one is sure that we won’t see another walkout, just as Trump did after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week.

Referring to Trump’s fixation on the trade deficit with China, Yellen suggested last week that the policy priorities may be skewed.

“When I continually hear focus by the president and some of his advisers on remedying bilateral trade deficits with other trade partners, I think almost any economist would tell you that there’s no real meaning to bilateral trade deficits, and it’s not an appropriate objective of policy,” the BBC quoted her as saying. 

Now, don’t you feel excited in thinking what else Yellen might say when she travels to Hong Kong this month, getting a chance to speak even more freely in a place far away from Washington!

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

EJ Insight writer

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