Issue #28 | September 24, 2019
Recently, from the Cleveland Fed
Why does the Fed care so much about inflation?
Inflation—a sustained increase in the overall level of prices in the whole economy—affects everyone. The Federal Reserve is tasked by Congress to promote “the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” Achieving an environment with stable prices involves addressing inflation. Want to know more? Visit our Center for Inflation Research for everything inflation related, from an Inflation 101 primer to data you can graph or use in your own calculations.
Investment Connection is coming to our region
The program brings together community-based organizations and funders on projects that are likely Community Reinvestment Act eligible. In October, the Cleveland Fed is hosting the first two events, one each in southeast Ohio and eastern Kentucky. Stay tuned for other events across the region in 2020. Learn more.
What happens to currency when no one’s in charge?
Bitcoin supporters consider it a benefit that the currency needs no central authority to function. And while there are advantages to operating without a governing body, there are disadvantages, too. We discuss them both in a recent Economic Commentary. Learn more in “Bitcoin’s Decentralized Decision Structure.”
Small-business owners: make your voices heard
The Federal Reserve Banks’ annual Small Business Credit Survey is now open. Do you own a small business? Take the survey to provide timely insights on small business conditions to policymakers, service providers, and lenders. Not a small-business owner but want to know more about what we’ve learned? Check out reports and data from past surveys.
Land contract program helps low-income homebuyers
Purchasing a house through a land contract can be risky for a buyer since the buyer’s payments are given directly to the current homeowner, who keeps ownership of the property until the terms of the contract are met. When carried out well, however, they offer another avenue to homeownership for prospective buyers. Price Hill Will, a community development corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio, is using its land contract program to help buyers in low-income areas. Discover how in our latest blog post.
Graphic of the Month
Contract for deed activity has been declining in six Midwestern states
Contracts for deed (CFD) may appear to be a viable path to homeownership for those with limited access to traditional mortgage credit, yet they don’t offer the same protections as traditional mortgages. One missed payment can result in the buyer’s losing his investment. This chart illustrates that CFD activity in the six states studied peaked in 2010 in the wake of the foreclosure crisis and declined after 2012.
By the Numbers
On the Calendar
Get back into the learning groove
Get in the game at the Cleveland Fed’s Learning Center and Money Museum (Cleveland, OH)
Open 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday–Thursday. Closed bank holidays.
FedTalk: What Is Behind the Persistence of the Racial Wealth Gap? (Cleveland, OH)
5:30 to 7:30 pm, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
March 9–12, 2020
2020 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference (Denver, CO)
From around the Federal Reserve System
Why study economics? Listen to one economist’s story
Lucia Foster, chief economist at the US Census Bureau and chief of the Center for Economic Studies, became interested in studying economics in high school. She was inspired by her female economics teacher who was “really good at showing us the real-world application for economics,” she says. Dr. Foster found it inspiring to think about how “people could use [economics] to help [shape] policies to help people.”
Listen to the podcast and then check out the complete library of other Women in Economics podcasts, including one with Cleveland Fed President Loretta J. Mester.
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