Most importantly, this is an opportunity for the Federal Reserve to communicate in a way that is more clear about its focused and limited mandate. The Federal Reserve has become, in the last five years, big brother watching over GDP growth and jobs creation. Janet Yellen's first press conference is an opportunity to put the Federal Reserve in its rightful place — an assisting agency to the economy, rather than the controlling influence.
So when the Fed chair reports on the economy and the Federal Reserve's perspective on future actions, I'm hoping I hear three things clearly and without reservation:
1. A strong reiteration that quantitative easing must go. While it's easy to be addicted to the methadone-like easy money policy implemented during the financial crisis, this is not a long-term solution to the United States and its employment challenges. This was merely a tourniquet. What we do not want to hear is that another form of interventionist action is waiting in the wings. Or that this type of intervention is destined to be an easily trotted-out solution.
We need a Federal Reserve that is credible and willing to be the bearer of bad news that the patient, while needing an IV as a kickstart during the financial crisis, must be a free-market system which allows for economic cycles to ebb and flow. Any statement that interventionist measures must be put away and used only when circumstances are dire will be a welcome breath of non interventionist fresh air.
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2. Clarity on the falling unemployment rate. As the unemployment rate dips below 7 percent and heads towards the mythical 6.5-percent threshold as defined by the Federal Reserve, it would be refreshing to hear a Federal Reserve chair willing to admit that the United States unemployment problem is far worse than the current rate. With retirees joining the ranks of those not measured by the unemployment statistics, the numbers we breathlessly wait for are not a real indication of the current state of unemployment in the United States.
The work-participation rate has fallen to multi-decade lows. Technology continues to temporarily destroy jobs (but ultimately provide for more jobs in new industries). And it is becoming the norm that underemployment is just part of life, be it with hours or working in position below one's qualifications. Someone needs to tell us the truth that the United States is in transition regarding employment trends.
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3. Clarity on what measures the Federal Reserve relies on when making judgements. It's a ridiculous game of guessing. Economists and commentators seek to figure out the secret indicators used by the Federal Reserve in making interest-rate policy. There is no reason why this should be such a mystery. After all, the 6.5-percent threshold indicated by Ben Bernanke as the key tipping point for reducing intervention action, did not result in the sky falling. In fact, his clarity on this data point was reassuring. There is no need for secrecy as is merely increases uncertainty and volatility in financial markets.
I'm hoping that Janet Yellen won't dance around the question of what measures matter to her and the Federal Reserve. There's no reason it should be a secret, particularly in a theoretically free market economic system. If we face a national challenge in remaking the United States economic system, we should at least know what the benchmarks for success will look like. I don't expect politicians to tell us and it would be abundantly refreshing to hear Janet Yellen just tell it like it is.
(Read more: Silent no more, El-Erian takes to Twitter)
What makes this country great is the entrepreneurial mindset of American business; it's the critical, differentiating advantage that can result in winning versus global economic competitors. In my travels around the world on research trips, business leaders all hail the U.S. entrepreneurial spirit to be creative and proactive. There's a reason why venture capital thrives in the U.S.; the U.S. is willing to take risks and think about problems in new ways that lead to business opportunities and economic growth.
Controlling the economy does not lead to greatness; it pushes the United States towards economic socialism. There must be a recognition that the Federal Reserve should aid the economy, not control it. I'm hopeful Janet Yellen will pass the baton from the Federal Reserve back to United States citizens and industry to move America forward. Her providing clarity and a commitment that the Fed is ready to exit from interventionist policies will be a healthy step in that direction.