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Cleveland Fed President and CEO Loretta Mester made her first public appearance since the March FOMC  meeting at John Carroll Univerisity’s Mellen Executive Speaker Series on Tuesday, March 22.  It was standing room only to hear Dr. Loretta Mester, as more than 250 JCU students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members attended the popular event.

Mester reminded the packed auditorium of the Fed’s legal mandate to pursue both full employment and price stability.  She emphasized, however, her belief that achieving price stability - taming inflation – is the most pressing challenge the Fed currently faces.  Supply chain issues and rising wage rates coupled with the impact of the war in Ukraine signal to Mester that the risk of sustained price increases outweighs the risk of rising unemployment and falling incomes.  She echoed  Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s comments that fighting inflation could lead the Fed to follow its March quarter-point increase in the Fed Funds rate with larger increases at upcoming meetings.  Mester made it no secret that she favored moving sooner rather than later on rate hikes.  



Finance Professor Emeritus Frank Navratil led a free flowing fireside chat following Mester’s prepared remarks.  In the Q&A format, Mester addressed the Fed’s balance sheet, which ballooned through asset purchases to support the flagging economy during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.  She noted in addition to raising the short-term Fed Funds rate, the Fed would likely reduce its asset holdings significantly, selling off longer-term securities at pace.  The resulting more normal market-determined relationship between short-term and long-term interest rates would in turn enhance the credibility of the Fed’s commitment to tamp down future increases in inflation according to Mester.


Cleveland Fed President and CEO Loretta Mester and Professor Emeritus Frank Navratil

Prior to her Mellen Executive Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Mester met with Boler College undergraduate students, including the student associations for Economics, Finance, and Financial Planning and Wealth Management, as well as the Women in Business student group, providing insights on career navigation and the evolution of work.

The Mellen Series began in 1986 and is funded through the generosity of The Mellen Foundation, Inc. Typically, Leaders and executives from organizations headquartered or operating in Ohio are featured and offer the students, JCU constituents, and the public an opportunity to learn about global companies, their corporate strategies, and how they serve the communities in which they operate. The events are offered once per semester and are free and open to the public. A list of past speakers in the Series is available, here.

*If you missed the event, you may view a recording of the discussion on the JohnCarrollU YouTube channel.