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Press Release

Cleveland Fed’s Forefront Looks at Regional Banks, Student Loan Debt, and the Outlook for Small Business

New content from Forefront, the Cleveland Fed’s policy publication, zeroes in on a small but important segment of the financial marketplace: regional banking organizations (RBOs), which we define as banks with assets between $10 billion and $50 billion. We present preliminary results of our analysis of the traits shared by healthy RBOs, and those shared by not-so-healthy RBOs. Some of our findings may surprise you.

Student loan debt has been growing and now averages about $30,000 per student. We examine some of the longer-term implications of this rising debt burden and consider policy alternatives that can minimize its drag on the economy.

We also report the results of our survey of small businesses, and examine how anchor institutions and the arts are helping to redefine the Rust Belt.

And we talk with Eldar Shafir, a cognitive scientist and psychologist, about why people are really not rational in the way that economists like to think they are.

Want more? You’ll find it all here.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.455.4479