And then there's the vice chair of central, Stanley Fischer, who told Sara Eisen that he is watching the economy closely.

(Begin video clip)

STANLEY FISCHER, Federal Reserve vice-chairman: Where most people think it will happen this year, but you don't want to get more definite than that. It depends on how the economy develops. We'll try to do it at the best possible time and we'd like to see the economy beginning to grow again and grow at a decent rate.

This is from a transcript at http://nbr.com/2015/04/16/transcript-nightly-business-report-april-16-2015/.

I don't understand what "you don't want to" means here. Does this mean "do not try (to get more definite. There is nothing more you can find)" or anything else?


3 Answers 3


"You don't want to" means that something is a bad idea for the person to whom it is told and the person shouldn't want it since it will bring no good.

  • 3
    It's an impersonal you, equivalent to one. He's being cagey, but he's saying that he and the rest of the Fed didn't want to, and he's saying anybody in the same position would come to the same conclusion. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 3:34

As John Lawler suggests in a comment to Slava Knyazev's answer, Stanley Fischer is saying that it is unwise for anyone—especially someone who is currently an officer of the Federal Reserve— to be more definite (or precise) in expressing expectations about the economy. Presumably this is because the markets are so prone to stampede reactions to comments from the Fed that any particular prediction or analysis on the Fed's part might set them off. Hints and vague generalities are the order of the day, everyday, as long as the markets aren't in turmoil.

But (again as John Lawler observes), the you in "you don't want to get more definite than that" isn't "you, the interviewer" or "you, the reader"; it is "me, the Federal Reserve vice-chairman, and anyone like me"—that is, anyone who objectively considers the potential negative fallout from a definite pronouncement on a sensitive issue by someone seen as representing the Fed.


The context it draws is that the person telling "you don't want to" is clearly hinting for you to not get involved or try and get more information as it may prove harmful.

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