Global Markets Forum
October 22, 2007
The Current Economic Outlook
Charles L. Evans, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, shared some of his views on monetary policy, including factors that he considered most important following the market turmoil of August 2007. His remarks offered insights into how hard it can be to gauge policy risks in such an environment. Although forecasters at the Chicago Fed expected economic activity to soften in the autumn of 2007, partly because of falling residential investment, they also expected growth to recover in 2008, approaching the economy’s potential growth rate of around 2.5 percent. Yet many factors complicated this outlook, said Evans, and he was equally worried about risks in both directions.
Moderated by Rachel Bronson, vice president, programs and studies, at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
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Charles L. Evans, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, took office on September 1, 2007 as the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In that capacity, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve System's most important monetary policymaking body.
Before becoming president, Evans was director of research and a senior vice president at the Chicago Fed. In that capacity he oversaw the Bank's research in monetary policy, banking and financial markets, and regional economics. In addition, he had supervisory responsibility for the Bank's Consumer and Community Affairs unit and the Public Affairs Department. Evans also served as an associate economist on the FOMC.
Prior to appointment as research director in July 2003, Evans served as vice president and senior economist in the economic research department with responsibility for the macroeconomics research group. His research has focused on measuring the effects of monetary policy on U.S. economic activity, inflation and financial market prices. His research has been published in the Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Journal of Monetary Economics, Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Handbook of Macroeconomics. In addition to his work at the Chicago Fed, he has taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the Chicago Fed in 1991, he was an assistant professor of economics at the University of South Carolina. Evans received a BA in economics from the University of Virginia and a PhD in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Rachel Bronson, joined The Chicago Council in January 2007 as Vice President, Programs and Studies. Prior to that, she served as senior fellow and director, Middle East Studies, at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York. Earlier positions include senior fellow for International security affairs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and adjunct professor at Columbia University. Bronson's book Thicker than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (Oxford University Press) was published in May 2006. Her writings have appeared in publications such as Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune. She has commented widely on foreign affairs in outlets such as NPR, CNN, The Lehrer News Hour, The Charlie Rose Show, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She has testified before the Congressional Anti-Terrorist Finance Task Force, the Joint Economic Committee and the 9/11 Commission. In 2003 Dr. Bronson was named a Carnegie Corporation Scholar. She earned a B.A. in history at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. and PhD in political science from Columbia University.
This event is part of the Initiative on Global Markets and is generously sponsored by Myron Scholes and is cosponsored with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The Initiative also receives financial support from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Trust (CME) and our corporate partners: AQR Capital Management, Barclays Bank PLC, and Northern Trust Corporation.