What is the Jackson Hole Economic Summit?

The annual Jackson Hole Economic Summit focuses on prominent economic issues that face the U.S. along with the rest of the world.

How Does the Jackson Hole Economic Summit Work?

The Jackson Hole Economic Summit is also referred to as the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.

The conference is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and has been annually held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The event calls upon chief central bankers and finance ministers, market analysts, and academics from all around the world, to discuss long-term trends and develop long-term outlooks on emerging future concerns.

The initial conferences, which began in 1978, focused on global macroeconomic concerns, international agriculture, and world trade. Since the double-dip recession of the 1980s,however, the summit's focus has turned toward political and financial issues such as monetary policy and macroeconomic issues including: price stability, financial market volatility and debt sustainability. The conference may even discuss the possibility of a financial system restructure.

Past topics held at the Jackson Hole Economic Summit include:

2010: 'Macroeconomic Challenges: The Decade Ahead'

2009: 'Financial Stability and Macroeconomic Policy'

2008: 'Maintaining Stability in a Changing Financial System'

2007: 'Housing, Housing Finance, and Monetary Policy'

Why Does the Jackson Hole Economic Summit Matter?

Investors and major market players watch statements made at the Jackson Hole Economic Summit closely. Unexpected remarks regarding a market's outlook that are made from prominent speakers of the event can have a significant impact on global stock and currency prices.

The international, future-looking conference has had its share of criticism, with some analysts complaining that it 'failed' to prevent recent global financial crises. But defenders of the conference explain that no institution or market expert could have accurately predicted the way international markets would react in a financial meltdown.