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Fed’s Kashkari on Interest Rates and Cryptocurrencies

Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, recently participated in a town hall in Pierre, South Dakota, attended by a little over 100 legislators and business leaders. The town hall was moderated by Laura Schoen Carbonneau, CEO of the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce.

During the hour-long town hall, Kashkari delved into the usual topics, discussing the Federal Reserve’s dual mandates of juggling inflation and maximum employment, weighing in on the likely impacts of tax reform, and pointing out that he was the lone “no” vote on all three of the Fed’s 2017 interest rate increases (since the inflation rate had been sticking around 1.5 percent, Kashkari said he didn’t see the need to attempt to adjust things via the interest rate hikes).

Kashkari also didn’t mince words when it came to the topic of Bitcoin, the hot-topic cryptocurrency that could be either a revolutionary new form of currency or a fad, depending on who is expounding on the subject. There’s even been speculation that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, Bitcoin could be used to purchase a home. Kashkari, however, dismissed the cryptocurrency, saying, “If you live in any modern advanced economy, I would stick with the dollar, I would stick with the yen and leave bitcoin for the, you know, toy collectors.” He added that he views Bitcoin more as a “novelty,” and explained that “the problem is the barrier for entry for anybody creating another version of Bitcoin is zero."

You can watch the full town hall meeting with Neel Kashkari below.

About Author: David Wharton

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David Wharton, Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 15 years of experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at [email protected]

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