Sep 22, 2020 - Economy & Business

Explaining the Kashkari and Kaplan dissents on the future of interest rates

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari. Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari and Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan are both in favor of keeping U.S. interest rates at zero for years in an effort to help buoy the economy and spur inflation.

But, but, but: But the two dissented at the Fed's latest policy meeting because of disagreements about what should come next.

On one side: Kaplan told Reuters on Monday he's worried the Fed's promises of rock-bottom interest rates until inflation hits a target it has never hit since the Fed created an inflation target "would encourage in the shorter run more risk- taking and maybe create imbalances and instabilities.”

On the other side: Kashkari was "seeking stronger forward guidance," he said in a blog posted to the Minneapolis Fed's website.

  • He argued to more rigorously lock in low rates because the labor market is no longer functioning as it once did, citing the “historic worker shortage” (his quotes) seen in recent years that has really been an example of companies being unwilling to increase their wages to find workers.

What it means: "What we see now, in particular, is that the two views bracket, from opposite sides, the Committee consensus," Peter Ireland, an economics professor at Boston College and member of the Shadow Open Market Committee, tells Axios.

Go deeper