Richmond Federal Reserve Bank CEO Jeffrey M. Lacker Talks Interest Rates, Economy

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A large UNCW audience greeted Jeffrey M. Lacker, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, who offered his insights about the direction of interest rates and the immediate future of the U.S. economy in the second presentation in the Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture Series. The April 12 event was held in the Burney Center Ballroom.

“It has been an honor hearing from Jeff Lacker, who has the unenviable task of helping to set monetary policy that will steer the U.S. economy,” said Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, who introduced the speaker. “As he stated in his speech, a variety of opinions and economic analyses go into making these important decisions. Grounded leadership and the ability to work toward a well-informed consensus are key to establishing policies that facilitate economic stability and growth.”

Sartarelli said the purpose of the Distinguished Lecture Series is to bring successful people to campus to impart not only their knowledge, but also the traits and leadership skills that have helped them achieve their goals.

In his role with the Richmond Fed, Lacker is one of 12 Federal Reserve Bank presidents with input into interest rates and other decisions of the Federal Open Market Committee. Emphasizing that the views expressed were his own and not that of the committee, he said he expects a gradual, modest rise in interest rates this year. He also noted that higher education is among the reasons the U.S. economy is much stronger than some others in the global market.

“In my view, the country’s economic performance reflects the fact that the United States remains an attractive place to generate and implement innovations,” Lacker said. “Labor markets are relatively flexible and regulatory burdens have historically been low by international standards. Our institutions of higher learning are worldwide leaders in research and education, and they continue to attract exceptional students from both home and abroad.”

Prior to his speech, he met with a group of Cameron School of Business students. The next installment in the lecture series will be announced soon.

-- Tricia Vance