Filmed by Sam Fleming. Edited by Paolo Pascual. Additional footage from Reuters.
With growth expanding globally, central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for their annual symposium this year had reason for some optimism. But even as they discussed their plans for a gradual retreat from ultra-loose monetary policy, policy makers were fretting about some of the longer term challenges facing leading economies.
Among the topics on the agenda, the damage that trade and technology can do to individual communities and segments of the labour market, the falling share of countries' income going to workers, regional divides, and surging income and wealth inequality.
I think there's broad agreement that, frankly, the economics profession has failed over the last three decades. And economists-- I'm part of that tribe-- we have not done a very effective job of communicating just how important it is to put in place policies to allow these kinds of educational benefits to accrue.
Many of the problems being discussed were beyond the direct influence of monetary policy. But the pervasive effects of big structural change, such as technological advance, are also affecting central bankers' basic understanding of how their models and policies work.
First, there's the cyclical factors, which normally would be-- if you had an unemployment rate at 4.3% and even a U6 rate, which is unemployment plus discouraged workers plus part-time for economic [INAUDIBLE] at 8.6% on its way lower-- historically, if you had that, you would expect more wage pressure. And you expect more price pressure.
As the meetings in Wyoming showed, central bankers are now having to stray far beyond their normal realms of economic expertise as they seek to understand the forces that are, for better or for worse, transforming their economies. Sam Fleming, "Financial Times," Jackson Hole, Wyoming.