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Twitter and the Federal Reserve

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Twitter and the Federal Reserve

How the U.S. central bank is (and is not) surviving social media

Brookings Institution,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Tweets railing against the Federal Reserve put the central bank in the crosshairs of social media.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Overview
  • Background


The Federal Reserve once kept a tight lid on the information it disseminated about monetary policy, so much so that observers would pay close attention to the bulk of former Fed chair Alan Greenspan’s briefcase for insights. But more recent US central bankers have made an effort to bring transparency to communications on the economy and monetary policy. Professors Peter Conti-Brown and Brian D. Feinstein explore the intersection of the Fed’s new communication posture and its Twitter engagement in this fascinating report.


The Trump administration openly criticized the US Federal Reserve and its chair on Twitter.

During the Trump administration, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell was on the receiving end of Twitter barrages from the president. The nation’s chief executive lashed out about the Fed’s interest rate and monetary policy. In one 2019 tweet, he even questioned Powell’s motives: “Who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or (China’s) Chairman Xi?” The president’s tweets influenced the opinions of Twitter users. Research found that a Trump tweet about the Fed spurred a 65% increase in user comments on the day of posting.

Since 2018, “user mentions” ...

About the Authors

Peter Conti-Brown and Brian D. Feinstein are assistant professors at the University of Pennsylvania. 

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