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Every year, in late August, some of the world’s influential central bankers, policymakers, and economists, amongst others gather at the scenic Jackson Hole Valley, in Wyoming. 

The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is a highly-anticipated event, which often signals upcoming economic policies and potential financial trends. 

As a get-together of extremely influential individuals, the Jackson Hole Symposium naturally has a significant impact on the financial markets, for a number of reasons.  

Join us in this article as we go through the history of the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, plus how, and why, it affects financial markets. 

animated image of financial charts and graphs in blue, the intention is to represent the jackson hole economic symposium

Jackson Hole Economic Symposium: An Introduction 

The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is a three-day event organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.  

The Symposium is held from Thursday to Saturday, during the last weekend of August, at the Jackson Hole valley in Wyoming. Central bankers, as well as other relevant financial authorities, and other economic personalities, gather at the Jackson Lake Lodge. 

The symposium has been held every year since 1978. Originally hosted in Kansas City, Missouri, it moved to Wyoming in 1981. The reason was a rather interesting one: then-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker was a well-known fly-fishing enthusiast.  

In a bid to draw the Fed Chair to the event, the organizers moved the symposium to the Jackson Lake Lodge, which traditionally became a fly-fishing hotspot in late August.

The plan worked, and Volcker was among the attendees in 1982. Since then, Volcker and his successors have taken part in the symposium every year. 

With the Fed Chairman’s presence, the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium naturally grew in importance. What started off as a relatively small get-together centred around world agriculture went on to become one of the central events in the economic calendar. 

Jackson Hole Economic Symposium: Who, What, Where, When?  

The Jackson Hole Symposium is one of the main events in the financial calendar and is held yearly over three days at the end of August. Since 1981, the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, has been the symposium’s home.    

The event usually has around 120 guests. This highly exclusive group consists mostly of central bankers from around the world, as well as US Federal Reserve authorities.

Academics, media representatives, financial organizations, and government officials are also invited to take part. 

Each year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s directors select a new, relevant topic to be discussed. The participants are then chosen based on their relevance to the topic.

During the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, multiple papers are published on the event’s official website, allowing a glimpse at what the economic landscape might look like in the coming 12 months. 

While the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium has no official bearing on economic policies, it usually offers a good indication of what to expect from global policymakers.

That is especially true for the Fed Chair, making their yearly Friday morning speech one of the highlights of the event. 

Jackson Hole Economic Symposium: Previous Topics  

Every year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City directors decide on a new main topic for the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. The first-ever symposium held back in 1978, had World Agricultural Trade: The Potential for Growth as its main topic. 


In 2023, the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium had “Structural Shifts in the Global Economy” as its topic.

The theme explored some of the potential aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with participants presenting their views on how the global scenario would shape itself in the post-pandemic world.

The increase in sovereign debt, as well as the shift in trade networks, and the changes in domestic and global economies, were also discussed. 


For the 2018 Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City decided on “Changing Market Structures and Implications for Monetary Policy” as the topic.

Themes were centred around the market - competition, stability, concentration, pricing, and the effects on the macroeconomy and monetary policies.  


The 2016 Jackson Hole Economic Symposium had “Designing Resilient Monetary Policy Frameworks for the Future” as its main topic.

Participants debated themes such as interest rates, the changing financial landscape and how financial institutions could adapt to it, alternative monetary frameworks, and Central Bank balance sheets. 


“Price Stability and Public Policy” was the topic chosen for the 1984 Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.

That year’s event tackled some sensitive themes, which included inflation and its causes, price stability, the tradeoff between unemployment and inflation, as well as successful monetary policies and the role the Central Bank could play in achieving price stability. 

Jackson Hole Economic Symposium: How Does it Affect Financial Markets? 

Even though Jackson Hole has no official bearing on the direct economic policies around the world, it does have a reasonable, or general, impact on the financial markets.  

As a gathering of influential economic authorities, Jackson Hole is naturally used as a reference for the coming changes in the global economic landscape. 

As a result, the financial market’s attention turned over to Jackson Hole during the final weekend of August. The Fed Chair’s speech on Friday morning is usually the most anticipated moment of the symposium, as it offers some important insight on the Federal Reserve’s upcoming policies.   

Historically, the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium didn’t have a major impact on the financial markets in the long term. On the other hand, the event does have a reasonable impact on the financial market in the short term, as mentioned above.  

The 2022 Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is a good example. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated his tough stance against inflation - which naturally meant higher interest rates.

Powell’s hawkish tone wasn’t well received by the financial market indices, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) experiencing a 1,008-point drop (3.03%). The market was able to rebound in the long run, but the short-term impact can’t be ignored either. 

The days before the symposium are also met with high anticipation, as the financial market’s attention naturally shifts towards Jackson Hole.

One way or the other, it’s always worth monitoring what happens in Jackson Hole to stay ahead of the market’s short-term movements, while also considering the potential long-term implications in the global landmark. 

Jackson Hole Economic Symposium: Conclusion 

The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium is a major event in the economic calendar, featuring some of the biggest players in the scene. And for that reason, the symposium may have the potential to lead to some movements in the financial market. 

Investors should pay reasonable attention to the traditional Friday morning speech by the Federal Reserve Chair. This speech usually sets the tone for the Fed’s upcoming economic policy changes.

The speech can have an immediate impact on the financial market, which can, at times, overreact to the Chair’s tone.  

 While Jackson Hole historically hasn’t significantly impacted the financial market in the long-term, it’s still worth paying attention to what's being discussed, as it offers an early insight into how the economic landmark might shape up in the future.  

So, if you plan on investing in the stock market, it could be worth keeping an eye on the Jackson Hole Symposium. 

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This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.