On Thursday, November 16, 2023, New York Fed President John Williams spoke at the 2023 U.S. Treasury Market Conference about how transactions-based, transparent, and well-documented data is critical to the collective understanding and decision-making at the Federal Reserve and beyond.
“As we move forward in the post-LIBOR era, it’s important that we continue to prioritize transparency and clarity in data, especially financial market data.”
“If data are worth using, it’s absolutely worth the effort to make sure people know what they are getting.”
“[T]here is an opportunity for central banks, governments, and the private sector to come together to improve data transparency and accuracy.”
Given the widespread dependence on data, President Williams emphasized the need to trust and understand the source of data. He noted that, “while we assume that most data are ‘good,’ there are, unfortunately, ‘bad’ data, too.”
He pointed to LIBOR as an example. “The lesson of LIBOR is that there are times when what we think of as strong financial market data is only a mirage,” he said.
President Williams highlighted the New York Fed’s work in areas such as reference rates and market surveys, and emphasized that transparency in financial data must remain a top priority for the industry. “This is particularly true in the age of AI, when the sources of data are harder to trace,” he said.
He closed by stressing the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as regulatory groups, industry groups, and global standard setters, to “think through the opportunities to further develop data transparency and make improvements.”
Julie Lasson is an executive communications specialist at the New York Fed.
The views expressed in this article are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System.