For release: May 19, 2003
Contact: Marilyn Wimp, (215) 574-4197
The Federal Reserve System on Monday announced the launch of a broad initiative that seeks to improve the financial position of U.S. households by expanding the availability of quality financial education resources.
An increasingly complex global financial system underscores the need for consumers to have a strong working knowledge of financial concepts. At a news conference held in Washington D.C., Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward M. Gramlich said, "Americans of every income and educational background want additional tools and training to address the complexities of personal finance. Educated consumers are one key to keeping our economy functioning well."
The Federal Reserve Board and the twelve Federal Reserve Banks have a long history as promoters and providers of financial education. The initiative builds upon existing efforts with the introduction of public service messages, a new brochure, enhancements to the System's financial education web site, and the announcement of upcoming System-sponsored programs and events.
Beginning this month, Chairman Greenspan will be featured in a public service announcement to be aired by major television and radio networks. His message: "No matter who you are, making informed decisions about what to do with your money will help build a more stable financial future for you and your family." An English and Spanish version of the announcement will be distributed.
On June 5, Chairman Greenspan and Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President J. Alfred Broaddus, Jr. will speak with students of John Philip Sousa Middle School in Washington, D.C., about how sound mathematic and problem-solving skills can promote good money management. The visit is intended to complement Operation HOPE's efforts to support the financial education of urban youth.
"We believe that this is a particularly good time to promote financial education because of the widespread availability of high-quality curricula, programs and training opportunities for consumers of all ages and backgrounds," Gramlich said. "Our hope is to encourage consumers to take advantage of the programs available in their communities, schools and on the web."
The Federal Reserve education web site (www.FederalReserveEducation.org) is also being enhanced with links to additional educational resources including a brochure filled with tips for taking charge of personal finances. The brochure, "There's a Lot to Learn About Money," contains information on setting financial goals, budgeting, and using credit wisely. It is available online in English and Spanish.
In addition, an online repository for financial education and literacy research has been created on the Chicago Federal Reserve's Consumer and Economic Development Research and Information Center web site (www.chicagofed.org/cedric/listing.cfm).
CEDRIC provides researchers, community organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and the public with a comprehensive source for abstracts and full texts of articles, reports, working papers and other studies related to community development issues.
Expanding the availability of quality financial education opportunities to the public and to System employees is a high priority for the Federal Reserve Banks. Throughout 2003, the Banks will update existing programs and launch new ones. Some of these initiatives will involve partnerships with area financial institutions and private-sector organizations. A list of planned activities will be available on the Federal Reserve Education web site listed above.