Fed officials eager to give the ailing job market some relief are showing their stripes – or perhaps their feathers – and adding to their ranks, making it seem more likely the U.S. central bank will provide further monetary easing.
The Fed has a dual mandate to provide price stability and ensure full employment. Policy makers who place priority on supporting economic growth and keeping unemployment low are called doves while those who would endure uncomfortable unemployment in order to keep inflation at bay are called hawks.
The doves were not only louder but became more numerous this week. First, the Senate voted to confirm Janet Yellen as Fed vice chairman and Sarah Raskin as a member of the board of governors.
Yellen, currently the San Francisco Fed president, has a reputation as one of the most dovish officials in the Fed system. She will now vote at every Fed policy-setting meeting, instead of at meetings every third year.
Raskin, a state bank regulator, has not widely aired her policy views, but in her confirmation hearing she urged the central bank not to neglect the employment side of its mandate, suggesting she’ll roost on the dovish edge of the flock.