Federal Reserve Poet

Dallas Fed Chief McTeer Puts Economic Observations to Verse

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Robert McTeer

Dallas Fed Chairman Robert McTeer Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas hide caption

itoggle caption Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

You probably didn't know it but the Federal Reserve has a resident poet. Robert McTeer, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank and a member of the central bank's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, often puts his thoughts on the economy into rhyme.

Last year, he wrote "Close but No Cigar," a limerick about the jobless recovery:

Bad Timing

There once was an economy on the ropes
That kept dashing our recovery hopes.
When we made the concession
To call it a recession,
It turned up, and we felt like dopes.

A limerick written by McTeer for the Forecasters Club of New York in 2002.

» More of McTeer's Verse

The recovery is now two years old,
And maybe it was oversold.
Now we've made the discovery
That it's a jobless recovery.
It wins the silver, but not the gold.

Now, with the employment numbers looking up — the government reported 308,000 new jobs were created in March — McTeer tells NPR's Bob Edwards he would revise his 2003 limerick to say:

For jobs, we've been waiting for months.
Then they finally came all at once.

Now, we're waiting for even more,
Hoping they'll arrive onshore.

McTeer says his verse makes giving speeches more fun. But he says he would never dare break into verse at an FOMC meeting — the next rate-setting session is May 4 — they're just too formal. The poems "usually grow out of my frustrations once I leave" those meetings, he says.

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