On Sept. 2, more than 100 students, faculty and staff heard Jeffrey Fuhrer, executive vice-president for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, explain that the U.S. economy's problems are cyclical, not structural. The speech was part of the David T. Chase Free Enterprise Institute's Distinguished Lecturer Series. Fuhrer discussed current regional, national and international economic trends with particular emphasis on the regional New England economy.
"Cyclical issues can be addressed tthrough central bank monetary policy and government fiscal measures, such as spending and taxes. He based that on employment data that showed large losses across every sector except government and health care. "If you keep calling it structural, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We have to watch out for that."
Fuhrer expressed confidence in Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, whom Fuhrer has known for 20 years. "He's doing his best to keep financial markets functioning. The Fed influences the dollar," he said, "but a good U.S. fiscal position is the best thing to strengthen the dollar."