Issue #2 | April 18, 2017
Recently, from the Cleveland Fed
Small Business Credit Survey reveals significant credit challenges
For the first time, the Federal Reserve conducted its annual survey of small businesses on a national scale. The survey asked about business conditions and the credit environment small businesses face. See the results and the infographic.
April showers bring…seasonality
Measuring economic growth is complicated by seasonality, the fluctuation in economic activity that depends on the season of the year. A Cleveland Fed researcher uses a new statistical technique to measure residual seasonality in GDP growth estimates. Learn what his analysis reveals.
For those footing the bills, no surprises here
Tuition has risen sharply at US colleges and universities, while funding from state and local governments has fallen. Investment returns are a volatile source of revenue for these institutions. Who or what is making up the difference? Find out.
Plans for payments and a serenity prayer for policymakers
These are the topics of 2 recent speeches by Cleveland Fed President Loretta J. Mester. She also spoke on the economic outlook and monetary policy communications. Read what she’s had to say.
Graphic of the Month
Actual and Potential Labor Productivity Growth
See how the blue line ends lower on the graph than the red line? That shows that actual labor productivity growth has been lower than forecasters expected in recent years. Consequently, researchers conclude that potential solutions to low wage growth must involve a boost in productivity growth.
By the Numbers
For many companies, the focus on cybersecurity is external hackers and external breaches. How important is it for banks to monitor internal risks, too, and what are some ways you’ve heard of their doing so?
As technology continues to enable insider threats—concentrating access to sensitive information and critical processes such as customer information databases, an entity’s proprietary information, and more—monitoring insider risk is extremely important. If appropriate controls are not in place, it’s easy for individuals to move information outside of a company. Cyber criminals understand the value of insider knowledge and attempt to collude with or take advantage of insiders—or are insiders themselves. Information technology professionals account for half of all insider issues.
Companies mitigate these risks by training employees to identify phishing and by taking other precautions such as employing the “least privilege concept,” whereby employees have access to only the information they need to do their jobs. Employee behavioral analysis is newer. It utilizes specialized software to look for patterns in how employees are conducting work, for example, where they are working and/or whether they’re moving abnormal volumes of files. Similarly, data loss prevention strategies include software that monitors email to help detect and prevent employees’ sharing confidential information.
Jason E. Tarnowski
Jason leads the Cleveland Fed’s risk supervision, surveillance, and analytics function. His team monitors cybersecurity, macroeconomic conditions, compliance risk, credit risk, and more.
On the Calendar
May 3 & 4
7th Annual InterAgency Collaboration Roundtable (Washington DC)
June 22 & 23
2017 Policy Summit on Housing, Human Capital, and Inequality (Cleveland, OH)
From around the Federal Reserve System
Tune into Access
Episode 1 introduces a man who took out an auto title loan, a short-term loan in which the borrower’s car title is used as collateral, only to find that he needs to renew the loan again and again. (Such loans can come at a high cost.) “I … had to pick up 3 jobs just to pay the loan off,” he tells Access, a podcast from the Community Development Departments of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. Access asks community members and organizations across the United States about challenges they face and solutions they’ve found for important social issues. Listen today.
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