Although the decision makers who help shape the nation’s economy may appear far removed from the challenges and objectives of the relatively small, rural town that is Cedar City, local community members and students have a unique opportunity to meet with federal policy makers when economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco come to Southern Utah University on Tuesday, November 5.
With ultimate control over the nation’s purse strings, the Federal Reserve’s purview includes unemployment and inflation—hot topics in still tumultuous economic times. The presentation, which will run from 6 to 9 p.m. in SUU’s Sterling R. Church Auditorium, will include engaging presentations from Fed staff on the purposes & functions of the Federal Reserve system, banking supervision and regulation, and the conduct of monetary policy. The University Symposium will conclude with a current economic outlook presented by a Fed economist.
The Reserve receives much less media attention than Congress in matters of the nation’s economy, and SUU economics professor David Berri says there is great benefit in learning more about this national institution’s broad influence.
“The policies of the Federal Reserve directly impact unemployment and inflation rates; these policies have a huge impact on the lives of the people in Cedar City,” explains Berri. “People might think that Congress has a huge impact on their lives, but since the Fed is the institution primarily directed with responding to unemployment and inflation, once can argue the Fed has a much larger direct impact.”
Beyond the general community presentation, the Fed will also be on campus to work with students from SUU’s School of Business, who will showcase their best ideas for future economic policy in presentations similar to that of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). These presentations are focused on how economics students see the current state of the economy and what objectives they think the Fed should pursue moving forward. Students will take on the role of FOMC members and vote on monetary policy and the target federal funds interest rates.
Each of the six student team presentations draw upon their work with Federal Reserve representatives throughout the semester, who have answered questions about economic resources and offered direction on preparing student presentations.
Discussing in detail how the Fed does what it does, this open, free community education event will provide all the unique opportunity to learn more about the factors behind national-scale economic decisions directly from those in control. Among discussion topics: the Federal Reserve’s role in the U.S. economy, the Fed’s response to our last recession, and the policy choices the Federal Reserve has going forward.
This presentation is part of the Federal Reserve University Symposium program, which utilizes dynamic exercises and student involvement to educate undergraduate students about the functions of the Federal Reserve System.