The Fed: Here are the seven Fed speeches that matter this week

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Senior economics reporter

Flags fly over Federal Reserve headquarters

Amid a wave of speeches by Federal Reserve officials this week, economists say investors shouldn’t sleep through any of them.

Regional Fed presidents will play a more prominent role in role in policy, analysts said.

“They are going to be leaned on and have more of a voice at the meetings,” said Kevin Cummins, senior U.S. economist at Natwest Markets.

For one thing, given the lack of action in Washington on vacancies on the Fed board, more regional presidents will be voting on interest-rate policy than presidentially-appointed governors.

And Jerome Powell, the nominee to be Fed chairman, does not have formal economics training and is likely to lean on some of the regional Fed presidents who are economists.

Also read: Senate conservatives to test Powell’s willingness to tame what they see as a Fed run amok

“This is the most crowded the public engagement calendar will be before the December 12-13 FOMC meeting due to the upcoming holiday schedule,” said Terry Sheehan, an economist at Oxford Economics.

“If there are evolving opinions, this is when we are most likely to find out,” she said.

Two batches of regional Fed economists matter: the 2017 voters and those who vote next year.

The first batch consists of Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan. They have both been cautious about hiking interest rates in December.

Evans is speaking twice, but will discuss the economic outlook and interest-rate policy in a Wednesday morning speech on Wednesday.

Kaplan will speak to a business group in Houston on Thursday afternoon.

At the moment, the market thinks a December rate hike is largely a done deal, putting the odds of a quarter-percentage point hike at 92% according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

Fed watchers will also be listening closely to the three voters on the 2018 FOMC: Raphael Bostic, the new president of the Atlanta Fed, Loretta Mester of the Cleveland Fed and John Williams of the San Francisco Fed.

At the moment, the Fed has penciled in three more rate hikes in 2018.

Mester and Williams have been more eager to raise interest rates and probably are in the camp for four hikes in 2018, said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan. Bostic took office in June and his views are not well known, he added.

Bostic is speaking Tuesday at a business lunch in Montgomery, Alabama at 1:05 p.m. Eastern. Mester is addressing a conference at the Cato Institute, the libertarian think-tank, at 9:10 a.m. Eastern.

Williams is giving the keynote address at his regional bank’s Asia economic policy conference on Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern and will meet with reporters later in the afternoon.

Yellen will kick things off early on Tuesday with a rare joint appearance with the heads of the other major central banks in Frankfurt at 5 a.m. Eastern.

Also participating will be ECB president Mario Draghi, Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

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