As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Richard Fisher oversees a huge region from Tallulah, Louisiana to Silver City, New Mexico. He’s also one of the central figures guiding the Fed’s national monetary policy – which plays a key role in everything from international finance to the cost of the house down the street. KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, sits down with Fisher for this week’s Friday Conversation.
Interview Highlights: Richard Fisher…
…on his concerns with the Fed pumping too much money into the economy:
“The real measurement I find interesting is the so-called ‘excess reserves.’ This is money that is not lent out to the private sector, and that number is $2.3 trillion. So they’re not being lent to consumers and to businesses who will create jobs, and my quibble is it’s sitting on the sidelines. Now we need good fiscal policy to put our money that we have made available to work.”
…on why the economy in Texas has been stronger than in other parts of the country:
"I think one of the key differences is that we have a state government that is pro-business, and can do limited damage because they meet 140 days every two years."
…on the importance of income mobility in the United States:
“Do you have the chance to climb from the bottom and become part of that upper income group, and if you screw up, do you have a chance to go downhill? My father was a homeless beggar…my mother’s father died when she was four. Her mom was a single mother who was a cook in a boarding house. I’m at the Central Bank, I’m one of the chief policy makers for the most powerful central bank in the world. I went to Harvard, so [we went] from homeless to Harvard in one generation.”