The Drawing Board

Really bad drawings, real simple explanations

Public Finances: Shining Light on a Dark Corner

The federal government is not the only part of the public sector with a debt overhang problem. Many state and municipal budgets are in woeful shape. What concerns should we have about public pensions and municipal bond markets? In this installment of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's Drawing Board, we explain some risks, reforms, and other ins and outs of public finances.

Find out more about public finance in the the spring 2012 issue of Forefront, plus articles and videos on tax and monetary policy.

Why Price Stability Matters When It Comes to Jobs

In this installment of the Drawing Board (really bad drawings, real simple explanations), we look at how price stability in the economy has everything to do with your ability to find and keep a job.

Find more about inflation in the Cleveland Fed's 2010 annual report and the spring 2011 issue of Forefront, including additional videos, articles, and links to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s resources on inflation.


Economic forecasting at the Fed isn’t as simple as trying to predict where the economy might be heading. It also involves estimating how monetary policy actions the Fed is considering will likely affect the economy in ways that encourage full employment and stable prices. In this video, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland explains in layman’s terms how and why forecasting is conducted at the Fed.

In a related item, Cleveland Fed researcher Brent Meyer takes a look at the Federal Open Market Committee’s economic projections.

Your Credit Score

What does your credit score really tell you? Think you know what you’re looking at when you see your credit score? Maybe not, says Cleveland Fed researcher Yuliya Demyanyk. Your score isn’t a rating of your credit worthiness; it’s a ranking of your credit worthiness compared to everyone else in the country at a specific point in time.

Foreclosure Crisis and Stabilizing Neighborhoods

The Federal Reserve describes the spillover effects of foreclosures and offers ideas to help to stabilize neighborhoods most at risk of decline. To view additional work on this topic, visit the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Debt Overhang’s Effect on Business Investment and Economy

Business expansion is dragging and slowing the economic recovery, and it seems everyone is searching for reasons. In his new paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland researcher Filippo Occhino says a contributing factor may be something called debt overhang. Simply put, when companies have too much debt it discourages them and their investors from taking on projects because the debt consumes any profits the investors might make, even in situations when the investment raises equity in the company.

Independent Federal Reserve

This Drawing Board explains how the Federal Reserve operates and why it’s structured the way it is. The Fed is in the news a lot these days, and we hope the video helps people understand the complicated institution a little better.

The Median Consumer Price Index (Median CPI)

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland publishes an indicator called the “Median CPI,” which differs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index in significant ways. What makes the Median CPI a better indicator of inflation trends than the CPI? Watch and find out!

Three Tier Proposal

The term systemically important financial institution is all over the news these days. It refers to financial institutions that are so big, or interconnected, or unique that they pose a risk of taking down the entire financial system should they fail. A researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is proposing a three-tiered system for regulating systemically important financial institutions. This video helps explain the proposal for those who aren’t policy wonks