In Their Own Words: Perspectives from the FOMC and Congressional Banking Committees

Deliberating Monetary Policy, Forthcoming

86 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2011

See all articles by Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government

Andrew John Bailey

Bank of England; Bank of England - Prudential Regulation Authority

Date Written: September 29, 2011

Abstract

In previous work on deliberations in monetary policy committees and congressional banking committees, we have examined the trends, thematic content and speakers’ arguments of central bankers and politicians as they discuss US monetary policy over three decades (1976-2008). By employing textual analysis software, we have been able to lend rigor and statistical significance to a large quantity of textual data — namely, (a) the transcripts of the FOMC meetings, (b) the congressional oversight hearings of the Fed’s Monetary Policy Report, and (c) the Senate re-confirmation hearings for Volcker, Greenspan and Bernanke. Our previous work provided us with an indirect measure of the intentions of committee members as they deliberate on monetary policy. In this paper, we strive for a more direct measure of their intentions through a series of open-ended questions to the participants themselves (and their staff). We interview 22 individuals who were either former members of the FOMC, members of either the House or Senate Banking Committee, or congressional staff with close dealings with these committees. Broadly speaking, our questions sought to illicit responses on four issue areas: (1) the quality of deliberation in committee meetings; (2) the effect that transparency has had on deliberations; (3) institutional features that enable or constrain deliberation; and (4) the extent to which key findings from our textual analysis of committee transcripts square with the experiences of participants.

Keywords: FOMC, Congress, Banking Committees, Monetary Policy, Financial Stability

Suggested Citation

Schonhardt-Bailey, Cheryl and Bailey, Andrew John, In Their Own Words: Perspectives from the FOMC and Congressional Banking Committees (September 29, 2011). Deliberating Monetary Policy, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1935359

Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government ( email )

Government Dept
London School of Economics
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Andrew John Bailey

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

Bank of England - Prudential Regulation Authority

20 Moorgate
London, EC2R 6DA
United Kingdom

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