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Fed, Rates and Sun

New York Times - August 22, 2014, by Victoria Shannon - Sun and a little fun mixed with speeches are the hallmarks of the annual retreat of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

But today was the first time participants could remember demonstrators showing up.

Protesters with green T-shirts reading “What Recovery?” were organized by the Center for Popular Democracy, a nonprofit group, to greet the bankers at their resort hotel.

“The demonstrators want to remind Fed officials, who tend to deal in abstractions, that real people are affected by their decisions,” says our Fed correspondent, Binyamin Appelbaum.

“Their presence has been mentioned repeatedly by Fed officials and speakers, suggesting that it has made an impression.”

Notably, the Fed chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, stopped by to express sympathy. In a speech today, she said the central bank needed more evidence of growing employment before deciding when to raise interest rates.

“Historically, particularly during the 1980s, the Fed faced a lot of public pressure as it raised interest rates,” Mr. Appelbaum says, “so this may be the first sign of things to come.”