skip navigation

Saturday, November 1, 2014

[ – ] Text Size [ + ]  |  Print Page

2013 Bank Highlights

PHILADELPHIA FED POLICY FORUM

Former Vice Chairman Don Kohn, President Charles Plosser, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan GreenspanEconomists and staff in the Philadelphia Fed’s Research Department hosted a number of conferences and workshops during 2013, including the 10th Philadelphia Fed Policy Forum, which focused on “The History of Central Banking in the United States.”

President Charles Plosser reflected on the history of central banking in the U.S. and noted that the Federal Reserve’s decentralized structure was influenced by the history of the First and Second Banks of the United States, two earlier attempts at central banking that were founded blocks away from today’s Bank.

The biennial Policy Forum brought together more than 150 academics, policymakers, and market economists from several countries. Among the many key players who participated in the event were former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, former Vice Chairman Don Kohn, and noted author Allan H. Meltzer.


Philadelphia Fed Policy Forum


VIDYA SHENOY WINS SYSTEM’S TOP BANK SUPERVISION AWARD

Vidya Shenoy, manager in the Risk Assessment, Data Analysis, and Research (RADAR) unit, was honored in June as one of five winners of the William Taylor Award, which is presented annually to System employees who display excellence in the field of bank supervision. Shenoy was honored for her leadership in delivering the new loan-level FR Y-14M consumer credit data that enabled successful completion of the consumer credit loss estimates for the Dodd-Frank Act stress testing. This loan-level data collection initiative involves gathering loan-level data each month on first-lien mortgages, home equity, credit cards, and address matches from large bank holding companies. Considered one of the most ambitious data collection efforts ever undertaken by the Fed, this initiative was launched and completed under tight, aggressive timelines.

Vidya Shenoy with former Chairman Ben Bernake

Vidya Shenoy with former Chairman
Ben Bernanke


THE BANK ROLLS OUT THE FEDERAL RESERVE AND YOU VIDEO TO THE PUBLIC

The Federal Reserve and You After four years in the making, The Federal Reserve and You video was rolled out to the public in April 2013 by the Bank’s Community Development Studies and Education Department. The video offers a look inside the Federal Reserve System and highlights the Fed’s role in the U.S. economy. More than 70 video segments cover topics including the history of central banking in the U.S., the mechanics of money and banking, supervision and regulation, and the payments system. The video, available on DVD and streaming on the Bank’s public website, was designed as an informative and entertaining way to help anyone interested in learning more about the Federal Reserve System. But its biggest impact is expected to be felt in high school classrooms nationwide as a new educational resource for high school teachers. Andrew Hill, economic education advisor in CDS&E, noted that more than 15,000 DVDs were distributed and nearly 10,000 viewers have seen the videos online in the first year. Keeping the video as a digital project will make it easier to update segments as needed, he said.



THE SECRET LIFE OF MONEY

In March 2013, “The Secret Life of Money” made its debut on the Discovery Channel. The documentary, hosted by Jacob Goldstein and David Kestenbaum from NPR’s “Planet Money,” explained how money is made, what gives it value, and how it ends up in your wallet. Highlights included interviews and footage recorded in the Bank’s actual vaults.

Employees in the Cash Services Department specialize in handling huge amounts of cash each business day. They follow rigorous procedures as they process, distribute, and store currency in the Bank’s vault. All their work is done behind the scenes, so it has rarely been seen by the public, until now.

The Bank’s staff worked closely with the film’s producer and crew to ensure the script and footage were accurate, without compromising Bank security. Filming was completed in 2011, and production extended into 2012, before the documentary aired in early 2013. Officials from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, the U.S. Secret Service, and Dunbar armored carrier service also were featured in the documentary.

The Secret Life of Money The Secret Life of Money The Secret Life of Money
 


GDPplus SPICES UP AN OLD STANDARD

GDPplusWho can think of a more highly regarded measure of economic activity than gross domestic product (GDP)? The quarterly indicator, which seeks to distill all goods and services produced in the United States into a single number, is known by everyone, from economists to news-hungry Americans. In November, the Bank’s Real-Time Data Research Center launched a new measurement using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) for estimates of GDP and gross domestic income (GDI). By using both GDP and GDI data, GDPplus is designed to better estimate underlying but unobserved economic activity.

Tom Stark, assistant director and manager of the Real-Time Data Research Center, was instrumental in overseeing this initiative. “We think analysts and policymakers will use GDPplus as well as the BEA’s estimates of GDP and GDI to improve their understanding of the dynamics of the U.S. economy,” Stark said.

The new measure was proposed by economic researchers Borağan Aruoba, Francis Diebold, Jeremy Nalewaik, Frank Schorfheide, and Dongho Song in their work “Improving GDP Measurement: A Measurement-Error Perspective.” Aruoba, one of the paper’s authors, explained, “Economic theory suggests that these two measures ought to be identical, but in practice, they almost never are. What we do in this project is to acknowledge that these two measures are measures of the same underlying latent variable (true GDP) and use some statistical methods to obtain a measure of this latent variable using these two measures.”


FACILITIES MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT WINS TOBY AWARD

The Bank won The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) award from the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) in 2013. This competition selected the Bank as the top contender among the many facilities that were nominated in the “Government Building” category and that rivaled other government buildings in the region. The evaluation process for the award included a detailed look at all aspects of building operations and management, from green initiatives to tenant relations to community service.


THE BANK PRESENTS A MASTER CLASS ON DIVERSITY METRICS

As part of the Bank’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives, 41 D&I practitioners gathered in Philadelphia for a special program: “A Master Class on Diversity and Inclusion Metrics: Measuring What Matters.” Master teachers Dr. Rohini Anand, senior vice president and global chief diversity officer for Sodexo, and her colleague, Chad Johnson, director of diversity/EEO systems and analytics, led the forum. Sodexo, a leading provider of quality of life services with 420,000 employees in 80 countries, was ranked No. 1 in Diversity- Inc.’s 2013 business index of Top Companies for Diversity and Inclusion.


THE BANK PARTNERS WITH CRISTO REY PHILADELPHIA HIGH SCHOOL

The Bank entered into a new partnership to host four high school interns from the Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School to further outreach efforts to majority-minority and inner-city high schools. The four students worked part-time through the school year in Human Resources and Financial Management Services. These experiences not only helped them develop valuable skills but also exposed them to future career opportunities within the Bank.

The Bank  Partners with Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School
 


BANK HOSTS THE CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS AND THE CONFERENCE OF FIRST VICE PRESIDENTS

Conference of Presidents and the Conference of First Vice Presidents

In September, the Bank welcomed the Conference of Presidents, the Conference of First Vice Presidents, and the Financial Services Policy Committee, three Federal Reserve System leadership conferences. President Charles Plosser and First Vice President Blake Prichard, both cochairs of their respective conferences, hosted the gathering. The more than 30 Fed presidents, first vice presidents, and other officers had the opportunity to see Philadelphia’s historical roots of U.S. central banking as well as our nation’s Independence Hall and Congress Hall.

VIEW LARGER IMAGE


GIVING BACK YEAR-ROUND

PhillyFedCARESThroughout the year, many Bank staff members roll up their sleeves to participate in one of the many volunteer initiatives sponsored by the Bank. Outreach to the community comes in all shapes and sizes, from a single day of service to ongoing weekly programs. In addition, many employees serve on the boards of area nonprofits.

Bank employees volunteered time and talent through PhillyFedCARES in a variety of community service days. Events ranged from organizing the book inventory at a local elementary school library to reading stories to K-3 students as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day. Another spring day was spent sprucing up a playground at a local city park. Bank employees, families, and friends also turned out for the 9-11 Heroes Run and fun walk in the fall. Some ran the 5K course while others walked it, and some cheered on the sidelines as part of the Bank’s continuing support to the local community.

PhillyFedCARES PhillyFedCARES PhillyFedCARES



THE FED COMPLETES THE SYSTEM-WIDE TRANSITION FROM LOTUS NOTES TO OUTLOOK

The Bank hosts the System’s Groupware Leadership Center (GLC), which provides e-mail services and other collaboration tools System-wide. In 2013, the GLC completed its work to migrate all employees in the Federal Reserve System to new e-mail and collaboration services. Patrick Turner, assistant vice president of GLC, was the program manager who directed the changeover, known as the Connect & Share project.



CASH SERVICES INTRODUCES NEW $100 NOTE

The Bank’s Cash Services Department and the Public Affairs Department hosted a special event at the Franklin Institute that marked the release of the new $100 note in early October. The city of Philadelphia, Ben Franklin's adopted hometown, was one of five locations nationwide selected by the Board of Governors and the U.S. Treasury to roll out the new “Benjamins.” Michelle Scipione and Jake Lofton appeared on morning television programs and then helped describe the new note and its security features to media members and the public at the museum.
Cash Services and Public Affairs at the Franklin InstituteCash Services and Public Affairs at the Franklin Institute

Cash Services and Public Affairs at the Franklin Institute



WINDOWS INTO OUR PAST

Windows Into Our PastThe project started more than a year ago as a simple idea: The Bank wanted a visual history of the past 100 years as a tribute to the contributions of Bank employees. The result was the Windows into Our Past display, a photo collage in the Bank’s Eastburn Court. The project was the brainchild of two Bank employees: Dianne Hallowell, Graphic Services, and Pat Lenar-Burns, Public Affairs, who worked with Bank volunteers in selecting the photographs. A similar “Centennial Wall” exhibit was installed in the third-floor lobby with photos and artifacts from our Bank’s 100 years. Also in the thirdfloor lobby, a series of original photos and architectural drawings pays tribute to 925 Chestnut Street, the Bank’s home from 1918 to 1976.




Previous Button Back to Top Button Next Button