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Williams, John on 2018 January 18 at 12:02

It would be a great honor to serve as vice-chairman of the Fed.

John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, is gunning for one of the top positions in central banking, saying it would be a “great honour” to serve as number two under Jay Powell, the incoming chair. The regional Fed president said he would “welcome such an opportunity to contribute to the important mission of the Fed”, when asked by the Financial Times if he would be up for a move to Washington to serve as vice-chairman of the Fed’s Board of Governors. ... Mr Williams suggested the US outlook is as good as it has been for a number of years. The global economy had hit a turning point where expansion is on firmer foundations not only in the US but in Europe and elsewhere around the world, he said. That combined with some fiscal stimulus is “giving you a tailwind”, and could reduce the disinflationary pressures worldwide.  “All those forces provide me with greater confidence that the US economy is going to continue to grow actually somewhat above trend this year and is on a very good footing in terms of growth,” Mr Williams said. “That supports again my confidence that we will see inflation move gradually back to 2 per cent.” With equity markets continuing to surge, Mr Williams said one of the desirable side-effects of continuing to gradually lift rates is that higher borrowing costs could reduce some of the incentive for investors to pay excessively high prices for assets. “The worry you have is not about where they are today,” he said of asset prices. “Obviously we don’t want to in any way contribute to animal spirits or another kind of psychology that leads people to kind of lose track of those fundamentals and go crazy and pay whatever — speculate.” Williams, John

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