Simulation of Federal Reserve Bank open market committee will include team of Saint Martin's students

Oct. 21, 2005

Lacey, Wash. – With gas prices shooting up, inflation inching up and the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita to consider, will interest rates go up or remain the same? And what effect will a rate change have on the U.S. economy and on world markets?

Undergraduate business students will have a chance to experience what it’s like to be on the Federal Board of Governors as they make recommendation for economic direction during a simulation of a Federal Open Market Committee meeting. This is the second year of the event, which has grown from five schools last year to 15 colleges and universities from Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Alaska and Utah.

The dynamic exercise is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to teach undergraduate students about the workings of the Federal Reserve System and how it influences the U.S. economic and business picture. The simulation is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at the Federal Building in Seattle. The event, called “A Day in the Life of a Federal Reserve Bank Policy Analyst,” is part of “Economics Beyond the Textbook and Classroom, an economics forum.

Saint Martin’s faculty member Riley Moore says students will be doing lots of preparation for the event. In this “real world” exercise, each collegiate team takes on the role of a current FED governor or a current FED bank president. They prepare by researching a range of regional, national, international and other economic indicators, assess the economy’s overall health and emerging risks and analyze economic forecast information.

At the simulation, a single member from each team is selected to act as the actual governor or president and issues his or her recommendations on monetary policy and a federal funds interest rate target based on the team’s research. Other team members support that person acting as research directors for the FED governor or economic advisors for FED bank presidents.

The Saint Martin’s team will represent President Jack Guinn of The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the 6th district, which operates branches in Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville and New Orleans Atlanta, Moore said.

“We will probably have the most crucial role and be getting the most attention of all the regions, given the impact of Katrina and Rita on the economy,” he said.

One of the teams will act as FED chairman Alan Greenspan and prepare a monetary policy and interest rate directive, as well. Following that, the teams will be called on to defend their position.

Students on the Saint Martin’s team are:

  • Russ Button, Hoquiam, a senior majoring in business administration.
  • Michael Bonnett, Olympia, a sophomore majoring in business administration.
  • Chrisa Fitzgerald, Port Orchard, a senior accounting major.
  • Edward “E.J.” Keating, Lacey, a senior majoring in accounting
  • Eric Backous, Lacey, a junior majoring in business administration.
  • Tatum Brimmer. Walnut Cove, N.C., a junior majoring in business administration.
  • Tingting Huang, Shanghai, China, a senior majoring in accounting.
  • Andrew Albertson, Lacey, a junior majoring in business administration.
  • Deneise Williams, Olympia, a senior majoring in business administration.

Moore and Assistant Prof. Heather Grob, both economics professors, will accompany the group.

For more information on the simulation, please contact Moore at 360-438-4511; rmoore@stmartin.edu. Information on the simulation also is available on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s webpage at www.frbsf.org/education/teachers/index.html.

For more information:

Riley Moore
Assistant professor, economics and finance
(360) 438-4511; rmoore@stmartin.edu

Deanna Partlow
Media coordinator / senior editor
360-438-4541; dpartlow@stmartin.edu