Educators “Meet the Experts” in San Francisco

What happens when you mix brilliant economic minds and keen educators? An enthusiastic day of discussion, questions, professional development, and yes – even some fun! We recently hosted 70 educators from throughout the 12th District at our head office in San Francisco for Meet the Experts (MTE), a speaker series designed to provide secondary and post-secondary educators with an opportunity to interact with leaders from throughout the Bank.

MTE brand bannerWith MTE, our objective is to highlight emerging issues in the economy and foster greater understanding about the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve. See how we strove towards that goal with the day’s agenda.  Remember to return to this blog in the following weeks as we’ll be providing tips for discussing this year’s MTE topics with your students.


Kevin Lansing presented on asset bubbles

The day started off with a dive right into economics content and a very timely topic: asset price bubbles. Kevin Lansing, Research Advisor for our Economic Research group, took the audience through a brief history of bubbles (notably the Tulip Mania bubble from 17th century Netherlands), then touched on three points that explain bubbles: forecasts based on past price movements, social dynamics and human emotion, and market structure. Kevin also discussed policy implications of lessons learned from price bubbles. His presentation slides are here.

Next up was Mark Gould, First VP and COO of the SF Fed. Mark’s responsibilities include overseeing the Federal Reserve System’s Cash Product Office, so his MTE presentation provided an overview of cash processing and vault automation systems nationwide. His quips and funny anecdotes had the audience chuckling! His presentation slides are here.

Paul Sternhagen of Banking Supervision and Regulation talked about bank capital, capital adequacy, and how it’s determined whether or not a bank is adequately capitalized. Some key sections of Paul’s presentation covered lessons from the recent financial crisis and how stress from the banking sector and financial markets can spill over into the rest of the economy. Paul’s presentation slides are here.


John Williams joins educators for lunch

After lunch, we were joined by SF Fed President and CEO John Williams. In addition to briefly touching on his role as a policymaker, John shared his thoughts on inflation, labor markets, and normalizing monetary policy. John’s presentation slides are here.

To close out the day, Mary Daly, Senior VP and Associate Director of Research, delivered a very thought-provoking presentation on economic mobility.  After addressing the pervasive American Dream, Mary proceeded to describe the two types of economic mobility – absolute and relative.  She then showed how economic mobility can be measured over successive generations, and discussed how factors like parents’ income and educational attainment impact mobility.  Mary’s presentation slides are here.


Denise Ottenheimer shares her thoughts on MTE

Denise Ottenheimer, a marketing teacher from Peoria, Arizona, and a member of our 2014 Education Advisory Group, was excited to have attended. “This is knowledge that I can bring right back to the classroom.  Not only do we get to learn from experts in areas like the economy and monetary policy, the U.S. cash business, and bank supervision, but it’s a great opportunity to meet and network with other teachers who came from all over the Western U.S. to attend this event.”

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be making presentation videos available, along with tips for discussing this year’s MTE topics with your students.

Did you attend MTE? We welcome your comments below!

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