Analyzing and forecasting the performance and direction of a large, complex economy like that of the United States is a difficult task. The process involves parsing a great deal of data, understanding key economic relationships, and assessing which events or factors might cause monetary or fiscal policymakers to change policy.
The Federal Open Market Committee has recently attempted to stimulate economic growth using unconventional methods. Prominent among these is quantitative easing (QE)"”the purchase of a large quantity of longer-term debt on the assumption that it will reduce long-term yields through the portfolio balance channel.
This article describes the joint evolution of Federal Reserve policy and the study of the impact of monetary policy surprises on high-frequency asset prices. Since the 1970s, the Federal Open Market Committee has clarified its objectives and modified its procedures to become more transparent and predictable.
During the Great Trade Collapse in the United States, which began in late 2008, one concern was that such a large collapse would transform exporting firms into strictly domestic firms or, worse, drive them out of business. In either case, it was feared that U.S. exporting might, at best, revive slowly.
Monetary policy choices going forward are explicitly tied to labor market performance. Hence, the sharp decline in the labor force participation rate following the 2007-09 recession has become a salient topic.