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St. Louis Fed president Jim Bullard. Photo: Luke MacGregor/Getty Images

Federal Reserve officials are taking the stage this week, following news the Fed is thawing to the idea of reducing its emergency market support.

Between the lines: Examined together, comments in the WSJ Monday from three Fed officials, plus Fed chair Jerome Powell, provide reassurance to markets that on the one hand, the economic recovery is strong — and on the other, the Fed will continue its support for the time being.

Why it matters: We heard from Powell at last week's press conference following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting — and now we’re hearing directly from other officials who will be involved in planning the Fed’s eventual retreat.

What they’re saying:

  • New York Fed president John Williams said that even though the economy is improving rapidly, he isn’t ready for the Fed to ease up on support.
  • Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan said he thinks the central bank should take its foot off the accelerator sooner rather than later in a bid to "avoid having to press the brakes down the road" with a more abrupt shift in monetary policy.
  • St. Louis Fed president Jim Bullard was somewhat aligned with Kaplan, saying it’s appropriate that the Fed has begun talking about tapering, but added that it will take some time before any plans are actually made.

Of note: Williams is a voting member of the FOMC, but Kaplan and Bullard are not — yet. Bullard will get a vote next year, and Kaplan can vote in 2023, based on the scheduled rotation.

Powell on Monday afternoon also released prepared testimony for today's Congressional hearing on the Fed's response to the pandemic. It largely echoed his prior comments, anticipating strength in jobs and acknowledging higher-than-expected inflation.

The bottom line: The talking about tapering has begun. Watch for more appearances by Fed officials in the coming weeks as the discussion continues.

Go deeper

Investors still view COVID as a market risk for the second half of 2021

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

COVID-19 isn't as big of a concern for U.S. investors as it was a year ago. But market experts tell Axios it's still a risk to watch as investors look to the second half of the year.

Why it matters: Many Americans remain unvaccinated. The spread of the more infectious "Delta" variant could prove disruptive to economic activity, and in turn, could spark volatility in markets.

Pelosi says it's her "plan" to appoint GOP Rep. Kinzinger to Jan. 6 committee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that it is her "plan" to appoint Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to the House select committee investigating the deadly Jan 6. Capitol riots.

Why it matters: Pelosi's statement to ABC's "This Week" comes after she rejected two of the five Republican appointments offered by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

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