The Bank's Economic Policy Symposium has provided a unique forum for the exchange of ideas on important policy issues of interest to central banks around the world. This book tells the history of the symposium through the years.
By Tim Todd and Bill Medley

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Introduction by Esther L. George

For more than three decades, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has hosted the annual Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. It is an honor for our Reserve Bank to be involved in organizing and facilitating a forum that brings together central bankers, private market participants, academics, policymakers and others to discuss the issues and challenges we hold in common.

Removed from the day-to-day political and market pressures, this event takes place each year within the Kansas City Fed’s region. This site, which allows attendees to step back and challenge their assumptions, is a key component of the Symposium’s success.

My predecessors, former Kansas City Fed presidents Roger Guffey and Tom Hoenig, contributed importantly to the Symposium’s reputation, yet understood, as I do, that the Symposium’s continued success is not the result of any single person or institution. We depend on a worldwide network of experts to plan each year’s event and to ensure the discussions that happen here remain candid and relevant. The Symposium’s reputation of excellence is due to the efforts of past participants, speakers and many others who have recognized an event like this cannot take place without widespread collaboration and input.

Each year, we publish the results of this work in the form of proceedings on our website at There, you can find the papers, commentaries and discussions from past Symposiums, as well as more information about the event and its history.

This short history of the Symposium, which was first published in 2011 to mark the 35th symposium, details the efforts of those who have been involved in various roles, but it would be impossible to highlight the work of everyone who has contributed in a meaningful way. It is my hope that this volume provides a glimpse into how a diverse and dedicated group of people has helped make the Symposium what it is today. We are sincerely grateful for their dedication, ideas and efforts through the years.

In the following pages, you will find stories about these individuals and the place where they gather annually in late August.

-Esther L. George

President and CEO

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City