President’s Speech Easter Eggs

March 24, 2016

SF Fed President John Williams had fun with a few of his recent speeches, sprinkling in references to some of his favorite songs and artists. How many of these seven do you recognize?

Dancing Days Are Here Again: The Long Road Back to Maximum Employment

1. Whose song is in the speech title?

  • Led Zeppelin
  • David Bowie
  • Bee Gees
  • Patrick Swayze

Absolutely right. Dancing Days was on Led Zeppelin’s 1973 Houses of the Holy.

Not quite. You should be dancing to a different tune, like Dancing Days from Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy.

The Right Profile: Economic Drivers and the Outlook

2. Another music title to chew on: who sang The Right Profile?

  • New Kids on the Block
  • The Clash
  • Taylor Swift
  • Aerosmith

Right! Hint for the next few: President Williams’ playlist is full of English rock from the ’70s and ’80s.

Good guess, but it was The Clash.

But if my aim is true and things evolve as expected, the path will look more like an airplane’s gentle ascension than a rocket…

3. My Aim Is True was the debut album for which singer-songwriter?

  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Elton John
  • Elvis Costello
  • Pat Benatar

You know it. Costello’s freshman album, released in 1977, included the hits Alison and Watching the Detectives.

So close! My Aim Is True was Elvis Costello’s freshman album that featured the hits Alison and Watching the Detectives.

Short-term fluctuations or even daily dives aren’t accurate reflections of the state of the vast, intricate, multilayered U.S. economy. And they shouldn’t be viewed as the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

4. Four Horsemen, Pressure Drop, and Lost in the Supermarket are songs are from whose discography?

  • Metallica
  • Lady Gaga
  • Kenny Chesney
  • The Clash

Groovy times! As Ann Saphir from the MacroScope blog pointed out, there are more than three (really, more than ten) references to songs by The Clash in The Right Profile: Economic Drivers and the Outlook.

Not quite. As Ann Saphir from the MacroScope blog pointed out, references to The Clash are throughout The Right Profile: Economic Drivers and the Outlook.

Five small words: Inflation is still too low…The inflation side of the equation is the dark end of the street.

5. Two songs are referenced by President Williams above. Who’s the artist?

  • Elvis Costello & The Imposters
  • Pink Floyd
  • Extreme
  • Rihanna

Correct! After the First Rate Hike, President Williams’ first outlook speech of 2016, alluded to songs by Elvis Costello as a solo artist and in collaboration with The Imposters.

Sorry! After the First Rate Hike, President Williams’ first outlook speech of 2016, alluded to songs by Elvis Costello as a solo artist and in collaboration with The Imposters.

I want to emphasize, of course, that I don’t have this on remote control; the path of policy remains data dependent.

6. Remote Control was on which album by The Clash?

  • The Clash
  • London Calling
  • Sandinista!
  • Give ‘Em Enough Rope

Almost too easy. You’re right, it was on The Clash.

So close! It was on The Clash.

So I’d like to extend my thanks to you; I’m much obliged for such a pleasant stay.

7. Let’s wrap it up with lyrics from this Led Zeppelin hit.

  • Ramble On
  • Whole Lotta Love
  • Kashmir
  • Black Dog

Correct! President Williams likes to keep his views short and to the point, but couldn’t resist a longer lyrical sign-off for his last speech of 2015.

Sorry, it’s Ramble On. President Williams likes to keep his views short and to the point, but couldn’t resist the longer lyrical sign-off for his last speech of 2015.

To uncover more hidden song references, read the full speeches:

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Views and musical preferences expressed by John Williams are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of others in the Federal Reserve System.