Federal Reserve System governor to speak at SDSU

Courtesy photo: Michelle Bowman

BROOKINGS – Monetary policy and inflation are not terms typically used in everyday speech. However, Michelle Bowman’s visit to South Dakota State University Wednesday might change that.

Bowman, who took office as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Nov. 26, 2018, will talk about monetary policy starting at 7 p.m. in the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center’s Larson Memorial Concert Hall on campus. The event is free, open to the public and registration is not required.

Bowman was reappointed in 2020. Her current term is scheduled to end Jan. 31, 2034.

Before her appointment, Bowman served as the state bank commissioner of Kansas from January 2017 to November 2018. She also served as vice president of Farmers & Drovers Bank in Kansas from 2010 to 2017.

Bowman is part of the Dykhouse Speakers Series, which is sponsored by the Dykhouse Scholars Program in Money, Banking and Financial Regulation within South Dakota State University’s Ness School of Management and Economics. The series hosts renowned financial scholars and practitioners who share their understanding of how financial policy, supervision and regulation interact with and, thus, shape private outcomes, including financial innovations.

“Gov. Bowman’s appearance is a really big deal. We have not had the opportunity to host someone of this stature within the monetary-policy space as part of this series,” said Joseph Santos, professor and graduate coordinator for the Ness School. “I think this event will rightly elevate the topic of monetary policy and its impact on our everyday lives.

“The Federal Reserve is front page news daily, and for good reason,” he continued. “The data we’re getting on the economy suggests there’s a limit to what the Federal Reserve can do to stimulate macroeconomic performance that is otherwise stunted by supply-chain bottlenecks. Monetary policy – and macroeconomic policy more generally – has stabilized the U.S. economy in the wake of the pandemic, but the same policy has also stoked inflation beyond the level the Federal Reserve would like to see; relatively high inflation is a new phenomenon to anyone born after the early 1980s. Most of the students who will be sitting in that audience on Oct. 13 will not have lived through a time when inflation was a problem. And now it’s something we’re all focused on.”

Santos, a macroeconomist, said Bowman’s role in determining monetary policy is critical in this time.

“To be able to have a policymaker, a member of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee, talking to and learning from folks in our community is a great opportunity for us and the Fed,” he said. “It’s important that macreconomic policymakers understand our regional economic circumstances and how policy implemented at the national level shapes our circumstances.

“Thanks to this event, folks in our community, maybe bankers, educators, producers or manufacturers for example, who may benefit from a particular macroeconomic policy landscape, will have an opportunity to interact with a principal monetary policymaker,” Santos continued. “Gov. Bowman could take our two cents back to the board; perhaps what Gov. Bowman learns during her visit to Brookings ends up shaping macroeconomic policy.”

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