Not all Fed policymakers sing from the same songbook

February 18, 2016

San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Thursday said he still thinks gradual interest-rate hikes are the “best course” (, a view that fails to harmonize with that of fellow Fed policymaker James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed who said late Wednesday further rate hikes would be “unwise” (

Clearly the two are not singing from the same songbook, as it were. Which might beg the question, whose songs are they singing anyway?

In Williams’ case, the answer is clear: The Clash. The text of his speech has references to at least three** of the rock group’s best, including Pressure Drop* and Lost in the Supermarket. Close readers may find more.

Bullard, who prefers slides over speech texts, has no obvious references to songs, punk or otherwise.

Still the question remains, as the world watches for the U.S. central bank’s next move: whose tune will Fed Chair Janet Yellen sing?

* Update: A colleague points out this song is by origin Toots and the Maytalls

** Further update: okay, a lot more than three, but it would spoil it really to say. The speech text is here:

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