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Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell will speak on Friday. But anyone expecting an announcement on when the Fed will taper its QE asset purchase will likely be disappointed.

Why it matters: Powell has the power to move markets with his words. And so regardless of whether he addresses the timing of the taper, markets will be interested in what he has to say.

Driving the news: The theme of this year’s Economic Policy Symposium — held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday — is “Macroeconomic Policy in an Uneven Economy.”

State of play: Multiple Fed watchers Axios follows point to the most recent FOMC minutes that stated: “No decisions regarding future adjustments to asset purchases were made at this meeting.”

  • “That statement implies that Powell is in no hurry to front-run the FOMC and announce the timing, magnitude and roadmap of tapering operations that we expect to be announced in November and start in December,” RSM chief economist Joe Brusuelas says.

What they’re saying: JPMorgan economist Michael Feroli notes that because the theme of the symposium is targeting the “uneven economy,” Powell may elaborate on the Fed’s “broad-based and inclusive” employment goal.

  • In testimony earlier this summer, Powell acknowledged that “joblessness continues to fall disproportionately on lower-wage workers in the service sector and on African Americans and Hispanics.”

Climate change is another topic that some feel the Fed should address.

  • “The Fed knows that it will have to lay out the logic of how monetary policy and financial supervision will be formulated in light of the long-term risks to the economy linked to climate change,” Bruesuelas said.

Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco, thinks cryptocurrencies could be discussed. The concept of a central bank digital currency is of high interest lately, and Hooper notes "there is ongoing research momentum at the Fed."

What to watch: Powell will deliver his speech on Friday at 10am ET.

Go deeper

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.