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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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

Fed chairman Jerome Powell is (still) here to save financial markets

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Fed chair Jerome Powell sought to reassure financial markets at the Fed's latest policy meeting that even though the economy is improving faster than expected, the housing sector has "fully recovered" and equity markets are hitting all-time highs, the Fed isn't even close to thinking about raising U.S. interest rates.

Why it matters: The bonanza in the stock and housing markets have been buoyed by expectations for the continuation of rock-bottom rates and an avalanche of Fed bond buying.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jen Psaki: "With that I’d love to take your questions”

In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.

Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.

Avril Haines confirmed as director of national intelligence

Haines. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Image

Avril Haines was quickly confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the director of national intelligence (DNI) in a vote of 84-10.

Why it matters: Haines is the first of President Biden's nominees to receive a full Senate confirmation and she will be the first woman to serve as DNI. She's previously served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015 and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.