In Boise, Fed leader warns of risk posed by debt-ceiling fight

rbarker@idahostatesman.comOctober 10, 2013 

John Williams, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco speaks to Idaho community leaders Thursday at Boise State University.

ROCKY BARKER — rbarker@idahostatesman.com

Unemployment will drop over the next year without a significant increase in inflation, John Williams, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said Thursday in Boise.

Williams serves on the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve, which sets monetary policy for the nation as an independent body. He was in Boise as part of the bank's community-outreach efforts, and he spoke to Idaho community leaders at Boise State University’s Stueckle Sky Center.

“I expect to see continued steady gains in jobs, with the unemployment rate edging down gradually over time,” he said.

But he said the 2 percent federal budget sequestration cuts have affected the growth and recovery of the economy. The government shutdown also has added a element of uncertainty.

The fight over whether to raise the debt ceiling presents a threat to the world economy that is “orders of magnitude” more serious than the government shutdown, Williams said. It threatens to undermine confidence in U.S. Treasury bonds that are “the entire foundation of the world financial system,” he said.

The San Francisco Reserve Bank is one of 12 regional banks that make up the Federal Reserve System. It serves the 12th District, which includes Idaho. The bank's branch office in Salt Lake City serves Boise. Bradley Wiskirchen, CEO of Keynetics, a Boise tech company, is on the regional board of governors.

Rocky Barker: 377-6484

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