Charles I. Plosser, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, was the keynote speaker at La Salle University’s 13th annual Economic Outlook forum on Jan. 14 at The Union League of Philadelphia. The event was sponsored by The Union League of Philadelphia Business Leadership Forum and La Salle’s School of Business.
In his first economic outlook speech of the year, “Perspectives on the Economy and Monetary Policy,” Plosser discussed his forecast for growth, prospects for the labor market, and inflation expectations, as well as the extraordinary policy actions the Federal Reserve has taken to support the economic recovery. He also briefly discussed the history of the Fed, which celebrated its 100th anniversary on Dec. 23, 2013.
Plosser, who has led the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia since 2006, is also a voting member of the Federal Reserve System’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is responsible for conducting the nation’s monetary policy, including making key decisions about interest rates. The Fed has lowered its policy rate—the federal funds rate—to essentially zero, where it has been for more than five years. Since the policy rate cannot go any lower, the Fed has attempted to provide additional accommodation through large-scale asset purchases, called quantitative easing, or QE. The Fed is now in its third round of quantitative easing, known as QE3. In December 2013, the FOMC decided to reduce the purchases in its program from $85 billion to $75 billion per month.
“This is a critical time for the U.S. and global economies as the Federal Reserve reduces its QE programs,” said Gary Giamartino, Dean of the La Salle School of Business. “We are looking forward to hearing from Dr. Plosser, a critic of the Fed’s QE policies, who will discuss the costs of the program and the challenges associated with ending the program and returning monetary policy to normalcy.”
It is also an important time for the Federal Reserve as a new Chair takes the reins, Giamartino added. Janet Yellen, who previously served as Vice Chair, will begin her term as Chair on Feb. 1, 2014, replacing Ben Bernanke.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia helps formulate and implement monetary policy, supervises banks and bank and savings and loan holding companies, and provides financial services to depository institutions and the federal government. It is one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank serves eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.
La Salle University’s School of Business offers seven undergraduate majors, Business Scholars Co-op programs, and five graduate programs. It has the only four-year BS/MBA in the region and offers a one-year MBA program; 100% of the graduates from that program were placed in jobs within three months.
La Salle’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), which emphasizes academic excellence and a commitment to continuous improvement in business education. Fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide have earned this distinction.
La Salle recently announced plans to build a new $35 million School of Business facility on its main campus in Northwest Philadelphia.
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 30 schools in the North Region and among the top 10 Catholic schools in the region.