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Issue #13 | March 27, 2018

Recently, from the Cleveland Fed

  • Rust and Renewal: Retrospectives on three metro areas’ progress and struggles

    President Mester: Bar should be high for changing monetary policy framework, but review appropriate

    The committee that sets national monetary policy currently uses what’s called a flexible inflation-targeting framework to help achieve its goals of price stability and maximum employment. Recently, some economists and policymakers have suggested evaluating that framework. Cleveland Fed President Loretta J. Mester says the framework has served the committee well, but also asserts reviewing it is appropriate. Read her recent remarks.

  • Three recommendations for helping people understand how monetary policy is set

    Announcing new Community Advisory Council

    The Cleveland Fed seeks members for a council that will inform and advise the Cleveland Fed’s Community Development Department and senior bank leaders on issues impacting underserved and lower-income communities. We invite applications from leaders of community development organizations and experts familiar with issues such as household financial stability, workforce development, small business, and housing. Learn more.

  • Researchers explore the Great Recession’s varied effects across the United States

    Report examines home lending trends in Fayette County, home of Lexington, Kentucky

    Using home loan data, Cleveland Fed researchers find disparities in outcomes by borrower and neighborhood race and income. For example, while the home purchase rate declined for both black and white borrowers following the Great Recession, that decline was steeper for black borrowers and the recovery has been weaker. Read our latest home lending report.

Ask the Expert


April is Financial Literacy Month. How does one begin to introduce financial literacy concepts to kids?


Talking with children about money at an early age might be helpful because thinking critically about money decisions can become a good habit, just like eating healthy foods or brushing your teeth. Conversations can happen through storytelling, for example, talking to children about what your first job was or what the first thing was that you saved money to buy. I remember my father told me his first job, when he was 13 years old, was bagging at a grocery store, and he saved money to buy a puppy.

We offer a number of conversation starters in our Great Minds Think workbook, available free online and in hard copy. This book covers personal finance concepts, including saving, spending, and budgeting, and focuses on offering tools that can help young readers think critically about money choices. We’re updating the book this year, in fact—both the English and Spanish versions.

Of course, financial literacy learning is not only for kids. Because the financial services landscape continues to change, it’s important for adults to do research and think carefully about money decisions in order to reach their personal financial goals. What you may have learned in school may not apply later in life.

Doing research around financial decisions can help provide information for weighing the costs and benefits of a decision. When it comes to saving money, making small changes can add up over time. Last year, I saved most of my change, and at the end of the year, I took my family out to a nice dinner. I was surprised at how those nickels and quarters added up over time. Other small experiments might include seeing how much you save in a month or a year if you pack your lunch instead of dining out or take public transportation instead of driving.

Jennifer Ransom

Jennifer Ransom

is manager of education and museum outreach at the Cleveland Fed, whose Learning Center and Money Museum is free and open to the public Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. Editor’s note: Jennifer Ransom left the Bank in 2019.

Graphic of the Month

Home purchase loan application rates for low- and moderate-income neighborhoods remain depressed in Fayette County, Kentucky

Before 2008, home purchase loan application rates were fairly similar across neighborhood income groups. After 2008, though, middle- and high-income groups saw more erratic changes, while rates in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods remained more depressed.

Home purchase loan application rates for low- and moderate-income neighborhoods remain depressed in Fayette County, Kentucky

By the Numbers

On the Calendar

  • April 4

    Diversity in Economics speech by Cleveland Fed President Loretta J. Mester at Central State University (Wilberforce, OH)

  • April 16

    2018 State of the Region address by Cleveland Fed group vice president Guhan Venkatu (Perrysburg, OH)

  • April 26

    In Search of the Employment “High Road”: A Research Perspective on Developing Good Jobs (free webinar, in connection with the Federal Reserve’s Investing in America’s Workforce initiative)

  • May 11

    Economic Overview by Cleveland Fed senior vice president Mark E. Schweitzer (Elyria, OH)

From around the Federal Reserve System

What about those bills, eh?

The Grand Watermelon, the Bison, the Continental: No, they’re not NFL linebackers, but names of US currency bills. In the contest among artistry, economic role, symbol, and history, someone—or, in this case, some bill—has to come out on top.

What about those bills

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