Nov 25, 2019

College students as the Fed

Pace University won this year’s “National College Fed Challenge” — an annual collegiate competition hosted by the Federal Reserve on Friday.

How it works: Students evaluate the economy and present a monetary policy decision — just like the Fed's rate-setting committee — to a panel of judges who are working Fed officials.

Details: They were also quizzed on the practicality of negative rates in the U.S. (something President Trump is keen on) and monetary policy's impact on income inequality.

  • "Probably the most intense work ethic I've ever had is preparing for this competition," said the team's captain, Scarlett Bekus — who also noted that the team prepped seven days a week as the contest approached.

The team met Fed chair Jerome Powell. Marissa Kleinbauer, a junior on Pace's Fed team, tells Axios they predict Powell will keep rates on hold until [the Fed] sees inflation consistently high for a severe amount of time.”

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's last word

Jerome Powel before Congress on Nov. 14. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Fed chair Jerome Powell said the Fed’s monetary policy stance is appropriate, for now, though he noted in a speech Monday night the central bank is not on a “preset course.”

Why it matters: It was Powell's final public remarks — and the last opportunity to recalibrate market expectations — before the Fed enters its "quiet period" ahead of the next interest rate decision.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019

Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a news conference in October. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would keep the benchmark interest rate at its current range of 1.5%-1.75%, a widely expected decision that ends the Fed's rate-cutting streak.

Why it matters: The central bank is confident the economy doesn't need easier borrowing conditions to stay afloat and signaled no further cuts through the 2020 presidential election, though uncertainties like the U.S.-China trade war remain. Wednesday's decision comes despite President Trump's continued push to goad the Fed to further trim rates.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019

The Fed's statement is a bit of a head-scratcher

Screenshot of the Fed's dot plot

Wednesday's Federal Open Market Committee meeting was largely a non-event, with the Fed holding U.S. interest rates steady as expected by nearly 100% of the market.

Between the lines: However, the Fed's statement and predictions for future policy left many confused.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019