Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the live blog. Fed chief Janet Yellen is going to have a conversation with Susan Collins, the dean of the Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan starting at 4:10 p.m. Eastern. Stay tuned here for live updates and video of the event from Ann Arbor, Mich.
Before the conversation gets started, let’s review the state of play after the minutes of the Fed’s March 14-15 meeting were released last week.
Most economists think the Fed will look past the weak March jobs report released last Friday.
Job growth slumped to 98,000 in March, the smallest gain in almost a year.
Looks like we’re going to get underway soon. Market will be looking for discussion of the Fed’s balance sheet and the inflation picture.
Asset prices, which were featured in the minutes, may also be mentioned.
The Fed’s view of fiscal policy is also a topic for discussion. It is not just whether Republicans come up with a stimulus package. Fed officials are also worried about protectionism. In an interview with MarketWatch, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan said Washington could dereal the expansion.
Ok. We’re getting underway!
Dean Collins is starting slowly, asking Yellen about what the general public should know about what the Fed does and it’s role in the financial crisis.
Yellen said it was a “good question.” She likes the softball ones.
Yellen says the U.S. economy is “pretty healthy.”
Yellen says the 4.5% unemployment rate is below…