Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is set to speak on Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday.
In short, Yellen isn’t expected to saw much, but if anything does happen it’s more likely that Yellen takes a hawkish turn — which is to say, suggests a March rate hike (or at least a more aggressive schedule for rate hikes) could be on the table — surprising markets which have started to load up on bets the Fed cuts rates this year.
Yellen’s prepared remarks will drop at 8:30 a.m. ET tomorrow and then she’ll face Q&A from lawmakers for a few hours.
As for what she might be asked about, Citi’s Steven Englander has thirteen questions that could come the Chair’s way over the next couple days:
- How much has the US economy slowed?
- Is the slowdown a blip or a more prolonged slump?
- What are the risks of recession in coming months?
- Is fiscal policy the right tool to stimulate the US economy? Would the Fed adjust its balance sheet higher to facilitate fiscal stimulus?
- To what extent did Fed lift-off contribute to these economic risks?
- How does she assess the contribution of lower oil to the US economic and financial outlook?
- How material are the problems in China, emerging markets, and global banks to the US economy?
- What tools does the Fed have to deal with a future slowdown?
- How keen are they on negative rates, are negative rates permitted under US law and, if they are not keen, what else is there?
- Will she rule out March?
- Does the Fed think pother central banks are engaging in currency wars and what is the appropriate response?
- Does she expect the yuan to go up or down and what effect should it have on the US economy?
- How automatic of Fed hikes if wages and inflation edge up and asset markets remain uncertain?