Speeches by Richard W. Fisher
Speeches on Globalization and the World Economy
The Texas Jagannatha (With Reference to Indian Prime Minister Modi,
a Hindu Goddess and Wodehouse’s Big Money)
Remarks before the U.S.–India Chamber of Commerce
September 4, 2014
"American businesses are rich and muscular. And those muscles are being flexed. For example, just two days ago, the Institute for Supply Management released its Purchasing Managers Index. The data surprised most all forecasters to the upside … These reports echo a string of others—including the Beige Book survey of regional economic conditions released yesterday by the Federal Reserve—that underscore the healing that is taking place in the U.S. economy despite our having what is, in truth, a dysfunctional and counterproductive fiscal and regulatory environment."
(With Reference to Monty Python, Odysseus, Apollo,
Paul Fisher, Deng Xiaoping and Mario Draghi's Old Man)
Remarks before the Asia Society Hong Kong Center
April 4, 2014
"Those who think we can be more specific in stating our intentions and broadcasting our every next move with complete certainty are, in my opinion, clinging to the myth that economics is a hard science and monetary policy a precise scientific procedure rather than the applied best judgment of cool-headed, unemotional decision-makers."
¡Ándale Pues! Having Made the Tough Choices, Mexico Stands to Benefit From Reforms and Navigate Fed’s Tapering With Relative Ease
Remarks before the Association of Mexican Banks
March 5, 2014
"And I believe that as the tide of easy money recedes, Mexico stands ready for the next phase. Unlike other emerging market nations, Mexico seized the opportunity to make some tough decisions and is more resilient and globally competitive as a result."
Speech in Spanish
Implications of Renminbi Internationalization for the U.S. and the Global Economy
(With Reference to Wu Yi, Being Manufactured in China, Yang Rui, Deng Xiaoping and Avoiding the Middle-Income Trap)
Remarks before the 21st Century China Program at the University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, California
June 7, 2012 · Speech in Mandarin
"The seemingly inexorable rise of China and the sheer size of its economy imply that the renminbi may someday play a role similar to that of the dollar."
The Limits of the Powers of Central Banks
(With Metaphoric References to Edvard Munch's Scream and Sir Henry Raeburn's The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch)
Remarks at St. Andrews University
St. Andrews, Scotland
June 5, 2012
"I believe that were we to go down the path to further accommodation at this juncture, we would not simply be pushing on a string, but would be viewed as an accomplice to the mischief that has become synonymous with Washington."
The Role of Globalization in the Financial Crisis and Recovery
Remarks before the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom Conference
SMU Cox School of Business
October 16, 2009
Comments on the Current Financial Crisis
(an Abridged Version)
Remarks before the 2009 Global Supply Chain Conference
Fort Worth, Texas
March 4, 2009
"If, in the process of doing what is right and proper by confining its activity to its singular purpose, the Federal Reserve becomes a 'nuisance,' so be it. The Fed under Paul Volcker's leadership was certainly a 'nuisance,' but you would be hard-pressed to find anyone alive today who would argue the fact that the Volcker Fed pulled the nation from the precipice of economic calamity. It is important that the Federal Reserve be left to do its job and no more."
Albert H. Gordon Lecture: Comments on the Current Financial Crisis
Remarks at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
February 23, 2009
"It may seem like the stuff of the wildest dreams to imagine our getting ourselves out from our current nightmarish predicament. But I believe we can and we will. We are Americans. I believe deep in my soul that when put to the test, Americans rise to the occasion no matter how great the challenge. We have done it time and again. We have no choice but to do it once more, now."
The Fed's Response to the Current Economic Challenge
(With References to Gershon Bleichröder and Central Bank Independence)
Remarks Before CERAWeek
February 9, 2009
"Our senators and congressmen and -women must find a way to give our economic engine an activating short-term jolt without encumbering or disincentivizing the entrepreneurial dynamic that has made for the long-term economic miracle that is America."
Historical Perspectives on the Current Economic and Financial Crisis
(With Reference to Paul Volcker, Washington Irving, Walter Bagehot, Mother Caris, Rube Goldberg and Bismarck)
Remarks before the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations
December 18, 2008
"We are the nation's central bank and we are duty bound to apply every tool we can to clean up the mess that has soiled the face of our financial system and get back on the track of sustainable economic growth with price stability. The men and women of the Federal Reserve spend every waking hour doing their level best to perform their duty. Even if we have to deploy a little Rube Goldberg engineering to get the task done."
Remarks before the Greater Houston Partnership
September 4, 2008
"While it seems pretty clear that economic momentum is slowing, the jury is out on whether lesser momentum will be sufficient to translate into relief on the price front over the intermediate to longer term. In East Texas parlance, 'It might could, but it mightn’t'; it most definitely has not thus far."
Monetary Policy in Uncertain Times
(With a Salute to Julius Squeezer and Mr. Bean)
Remarks before the Progress & Freedom Foundation Aspen Summit 2008
August 19, 2008
"The earnest men and women who make up the FOMC have no intention of squandering the bedrock capital of a central bank: the confidence the public places in our hands to keep inflation at bay while we work to bolster economic growth and restore the financial system."
A Perspective on China
Remarks to a Working Dinner Sponsored by the Progress & Freedom Foundation
August 18, 2008
"In contemplating China, we need to look past carefully crafted images and deepen our understanding of her national interest. Failure to do so will be perilous."
Selling Our Services to the World
(With an Ode to Chicago)
Remarks before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
April 17, 2008
"The United States, like Chicago, can continue to prosper only if it faces economic change head-on, choosing to compete rather than retreat, seeking out new opportunities in a globalizing economy, where goods, services, money and ideas flow freely across international borders."
Comments on Stylized Facts of Globalization and World Inflation
Remarks for a panel discussion at the International Symposium of the Banque de France on Globalisation, Inflation and Monetary Policy
March 7, 2008
"In today’s world, where investors can move their funds instantly from one currency to another to avoid depreciation, the price central bankers pay for high inflation is much higher than in the past. Understanding this, you can see why I am a steadfast inflation-fighting owl."
"Monetary policy acts with a lag. I liken it to a good single malt whiskey or perhaps truly great tequila: It takes time before you feel its full effect. The Fed has to be very careful now to add just the right amount of stimulus to the punchbowl without mixing in the potential to juice up inflation once the effect of the new punch kicks in."
The U.S. Economy, Globalization and Inflation Measurement
(With Brief References to Brawls, Beer and Bikinis)
Remarks before the Australian Business Economists
November 14, 2007
"Our job has been made more complicated by globalization—the freer flow of goods, services, money, ideas and people across national borders. Its present incarnation owes a great deal to the revolution in information technology. Faster, cheaper and better communications are breaking down barriers to international business and knitting the world's economies closer together faster than Skippy could outsmart a pack of hungry dingoes."
In the Lap of the Gods
Remarks at the Greater Dallas Chamber Annual State of Technology Luncheon
October 2, 2007
"We live in a time when it is fashionable to look at all glasses as half full. Chicken Little rules the roost of economic prognostication. The innovators in this room know differently."
"It is fair to say that I am encouraged by what I have heard against a background of constant negative speculation and the occasional discordant note, such as last week's employment numbers. Our economy appears to be weathering the storm thus far. The future path of that storm and the appropriate policy course, however, are still to be determined."
The Southern States in a Globalized Economy
Remarks before the Southern Governors’ Association 73rd Annual Meeting
August 25, 2007
"There is no great secret about how to lay the groundwork for Southern states' success in harvesting and harnessing—in mastering—globalization. The key to adapting to and profiting from globalization lies in education."
Globalizing the Knowledge
Remarks before the Houston World Affairs Council
April 13, 2007
"We need new and better tools to help us determine just how globalization is affecting economies around the world, and how policymakers can reap benefits from these insights. Getting it right may well alter our notions of economic progress, with ramifications for how we approach the goal of price stability."
Is German Economic
Decline Exaggerated or Inevitable?
Remarks before the the American Academy
November 20, 2006
in pursuing economic reform will solve the problems
that threaten Germany's future. Germany must 'press
on' with needed reforms to its laws and to its
attitudes toward competition and the pursuit of
The Extended Importance
of the Euro
Remarks before the European Banking Congress
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
November 17, 2006
"While the ECB has delivered a currency that retains its purchasing power at least as well as the dollar, there are at least three reasons why the euro is unlikely to displace the dollar as the dominant international currency in the near term. First, the growth prospects of the euro area. Second, the uniqueness of EMU. Third, the benefits of incumbency."
in a Globalized World
Remarks at the HSBC Global Investment Seminar
October 10, 2006
"My point is simply that the committee’s wisdom would be enhanced, and the economy would benefit, from having analytical tools to help us build more practicable models than what we currently have to guide our thinking as we make monetary policy in a complicated, reconfigured, globalized world."
The Current State
of the U.S. and Mexican Economies: Where Do We Go
Remarks at a Policy Forum hosted by the El Paso Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Monterrey Branch of the Banco de México
Monterrey, N.L., México
September 25, 2006
Speech in Spanish
"As I sit at the FOMC table, I continue to fret more about inflation than I do about growth. While I am well aware of the risks to economic growth, the history of inverted yield curves, and the ever present possibility of exogenous shocks in a politically hazardous world, the “balance of risk,” in my book, is still tilted to the inflation side of the equation."
on U.S. Growth and Inflation
Remarks before the Dallas Assembly
May 22, 2006
"Our globalizing economy is not a vintage car. It is more like a 2006 BMW Z4 roadster, fully equipped and Bluetooth enabled. It is a very complex, highly integrated, technologically advanced and brilliantly engineered vehicle that just cannot help exceeding the posted speed limit."
the Latin Perspective
(with Reference to Las Meninas)
Remarks at the Central Bank of Argentina
April 19, 2006
Speech in Spanish
"My business contacts talk and act as if the globalization now under way will bring another decade of intense competition. This hothouse will enable—perhaps even force—businesses to keep productivity growth in the range we have enjoyed since the mid-1990s—hopefully, for many years to come. If labor productivity growth can stay near 3 percent, monetary policy can accommodate relatively faster growth without igniting inflation."
Racing to the Top:
How Global Competition Disciplines Public Policy
Remarks before the Dallas Friday Group
April 11, 2006
Video excerpt [WMV 2.6M 00:01:28]
"Competition brings benefits to the public sector the same way it does the private sector. Because factors of production are increasingly mobile in an era of globalization, governments vie to gain and hold onto them. Mobile factors will flee economies that burden them with high taxes, excessive regulation and capricious administration. They gravitate toward countries that offer the best opportunities to increase profits or paychecks. The economic benefits of productive factors give nations strong incentives to maintain or adopt better economic policies."
"For Mexico and the U.S. states along its border, the stakes are high. Geographic proximity to the United States and ease of transport are key aspects of Mexico’s comparative advantage vis-à-vis nations in Asia and Eastern Europe. A loss of competitiveness in Mexico is a loss for the entire border economy, where so much of our growth is linked to expansion on the more populous Mexican side. We must pay greater attention to the changes in infrastructure, regulations and other areas that are needed to maximize mutual economic benefit from trade."
A New Perspective
2006 Streich Family Lectureship on Free Enterprise
Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas
April 4, 2006
"Globalization is almost surely part of the explanation of the decline in inflation and output volatility that we've seen in many countries in recent years."
"There is a dynamic tension in Japan today. Prime Minister Koizumi has taken on the old political dinosaurs. Young entrepreneurs gathered in the new office buildings in the Roppongi Hills area of Tokyo and elsewhere have challenged the tightly interwoven culture of the old Japanese corporate hierarchy. Foreign investment has positioned itself for a sea change in Japan’s direction.
Coping with Globalization's
Impact on Monetary Policy
Remarks for the National Association for Business Economics Panel Discussion at the 2006 Allied Social Science Associations Meeting
January 6, 2006
"By spurring productivity and fomenting tectonic economic changes, globalization has acted as a tailwind for the Fed’s—and other central banks’—efforts to hold down inflation. I believe the Federal Reserve has been able to contain inflation with faster growth than would have been possible in the absence of globalization. In short, globalization has made the Fed’s job easier over the past few years"
Remarks at the Fifth Annual Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Policy Forum
December 2, 2005
"Coddling inflation by monetizing deficits is not an option in a globalized world. It would erode our currency's value and undermine our economy's potential to grow and create jobs."
Warren and Anita Manshel Lecture in American Foreign Policy
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
November 3, 2005
"The destruction of communism and the creation of vast new sources of inputs and production have upset all the calculations and equations that the very best economics minds, including those of the Federal Reserve staff—and I consider them the best of all—have used as their guideposts. The old models simply do not apply to the new, real world."
Remarks before The Houston Forum
October 19, 2005
"We have millions of managers in our business community who have become experts at adapting to economic change with breathtaking alacrity. I am talking not just about CEOs but also about middle managers who operate supply chains, control inventories and fine-tune operations in our mighty economic machine. They are an important reason we have succeeded in growing our economy while others—great nations like Japan and Germany—had been stagnant, at least until adopting recent market-oriented reforms."
Nature of Money and the Capillaries of Capitalism
Remarks Before Downtown Waco Inc.
October 6, 2005
"Money flows are an economy’s lifeblood, and the Federal Reserve’s great responsibility lies in maintaining the cardiovascular system of American capitalism. The Federal Reserve’s factory operations—from payments processing to bank regulation to the New York desk’s trading activities—keep open the arteries, veins and even the capillaries of capitalism. We cannot let the equivalent of sclerosis block the arteries and disrupt the workings of the circulatory system. Nor can we let the inflation virus infect the blood supply and poison the system."
A Perspective on
the Economic Outlook
Remarks before the Seventh Annual Economic Forum of the Greater Dallas Chamber
October 4, 2005
"We heard that the pace of economic growth had begun to slow slightly prior to Katrina and that the disruptions from Katrina, and later from Rita, would initially slow growth a bit more. The U.S. economy grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter. Now, most forecasters anticipate growth closer to 3 percent in the fourth quarter. Many of them expect the bounce back from rebuilding the Gulf Coast to begin in early 2006, though the impact will be spread over several years. In the past, this pattern has repeated itself for a wide range of shocks and natural disasters. The one common element has been the resilience and flexibility of our free market economy."
The World Economy:
Sharpening Our Peripheral Vision
Remarks before the Council of Economic Advisors to Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.
Salt Lake City, Utah
July 29, 2005
"China’s emergence will trigger changes to our economy, but they will not come so fast or be so big as to overwhelm us. We will have time to adjust. We have proven time and again that we thrive when we face up to the challenge of vigorous competition."
Remarks before the Annual Symposium on Critical Global Markets: China's Remarkable Rise, Center for American and International Law
June 14, 2005
"If you’re not willing to eliminate protectionism, reduce red tape and regulation, encourage free markets for capital as well as goods and services, live by the rule of law, punish public corruption and corporate malfeasance, if you’re not willing to let old jobs go by the wayside and otherwise unleash the competitive forces that make an economy nimble, you won’t keep pace with the leaders. Leaders do these things. That is how they stay leaders. That is how the U.S.A. got to where it is today, becoming the mightiest economic machine in history."
A Walk Around the
Remarks before the Joint World Affairs Council/Dallas Friday Group
May 10, 2005
"Cheaper inputs help American producers lower their costs. Just as important, foreign competition forces U.S. producers to cut costs and bolster efficiency, providing a spur to productivity. We thus pave the way to move up to the “superfine processes,” like bio- and nano- and the higher reaches of technology. They will keep us at the forefront of the global economy and allow business to do what it does in a capitalist system, creating jobs and profits that in turn lead to more jobs and profits in a virtual cycle that, properly nurtured, goes on indefinitely."
Germany Hold Its Own in the New World of a Reconfigured
Europe, an Ascendant China, and 21st Century America?
Is German Economic Decline Exaggerated? Or Inevitable?
Remarks before the Atlantik-Brücke Annual Meeting
June 9, 2004
"The massive changes required of Germany will be hard. It is always easier to choose a certain present over an uncertain future. The beginning of the end of an old regime, of the old way, of business as usual, is always a troubled time. It requires new thinking, bold thinking. Transitions are full of pitfalls, of risk, of pain. I implore you to stop hiding behind both the failures and the successes of your past. Identify a leader or leaders who will take the kernels of promise that begin with Agenda 2010 and truly make this the beginning of the end of a Germany that no longer delivers. Make this the end of the beginning of reform. Get on with the real reform and a vital, renewed Germany that can lead Europe upward rather than downward."