CEO of National Bank of Commerce Steve Burgess, Professor and Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teacher of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education at UMD Dr. Curt Anderson, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Dr. Narayana Kocherlakota, and Dean of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics Kjell R. Knudsen
LSBE BRINGS NATIONAL POLICY MAKER TO CAMPUS
||The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis: Quick Facts
- One of 12 regional Reserve banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System
- Serves the Ninth Federal Reserve District: Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, northwestern Wisconsin, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula
It’s not often a person gets to question our nation’s financial policy makers. This fall, LSBE students, faculty, and the community had the opportunity to do just that.
Dr. Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, presented, “Federal Reserve 101: A Town Hall Meeting,” as part of LSBE’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Underwritten by the National Bank of Commerce, the event featured a question-and-answer session, during which Kocherlakota provided an exclusive overview of the role of the Federal Reserve Bank, commonly referred to as the Fed.
Kocherlakota is among the country’s top macroeconomists and the former chair of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Department of Economics. As president of the Minneapolis Fed, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, the nation’s monetary policy-making body.
Success on all fronts
Kocherlakota’s talk is part of a Fed initiative to have its top executives be more transparent and open to the public. Though Kocherlakota has given many talks throughout the Ninth District, his presentation at LSBE was a pilot for the town hall format.
“We wanted to partner with an organization that was well-respected in its community and, frankly, that we knew would deliver. That was certainly the case with LSBE,” said Kocherlakota. He said the successful event at LSBE will lead to other town hall events across the district.
Students, faculty, and community members found the presentation equally beneficial.
Curt Anderson, professor of economics and director of UMD’s Center for Economic Education, said the presentation provided invaluable insight into the Fed’s inner workings.
“Students got to talk to an actual policy maker and understand what tools he and other members of the Federal Open Market Committee use (data, variables, trends, etc.). That is much more powerful than just reading about policy,” said Anderson.
Daniel Zapp, a senior accounting major, was among the students who attended the event.
“He talked in simple, easy-to-understand language that helped decode the Fed’s operations,” said Zapp of Kocherlakota. “A number of community business leaders also attended, making it a great opportunity to network.”
The most important takeaway
Though he responded to a wide range of questions, Kocherlakota said he hopes the audience left understanding that their central bank works for them.
“The Federal Reserve was created by and is directed by Congress, comprising members elected by the public. Thus, we are accountable to the public to achieve the Main Street objectives Congress mandates—to promote price stability and maximum employment,” said Kocherlakota.
In his speech, Kocherlakota stressed the importance of the Fed’s decentralized structure, which he says is complementary to its goals.
“Giving people from different regions of the country—the presidents of the various regional Reserve banks—a chance to provide direct input on monetary policy ensures our Main Street goals are always at center stage,” he said.
Kocherlakota praises LSBE
Kocherlakota said business schools like LSBE play an important role in helping the Fed achieve its objectives. Part of this job, he explained, is challenging students to raise questions about their central bank and monetary policy.
“I can say from experience that LSBE is succeeding, as I had the pleasure to meet with a group of students and take their questions about the Fed, the economy, and the value of education. I am confident that LSBE is doing a good job,” said Kocherlakota.
Return to the index of the December 2012 newsletter