Money in Motion: JRCPPF Undergraduates Visit the Philly Fed

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Dec. 15, 2023

On December 11, eighteen JRCPPF undergraduate associates visited the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank (FRB), a cornerstone of the nation's economic landscape. The visit, led by JRCPPF associate director Pallavi Nuka, offered students a unique opportunity to witness economic principles in action and understand their real-world applications.

Students spent the morning touring the Fed building, exploring the 'Money in Motion' exhibit, meeting with Bank staff, and learning more about the FRB's role in shaping monetary policy and fostering economic stability. In the afternoon, students also visited the nation's first mint, which was established in 1792 by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson on the basis of recommendations drafted by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.

Today, the Philadelphia Reserve Bank is responsible for southern New Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Pennsylvania and is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the national Federal Reserve System.

Students met with a panel of researchers from the Consumer Finance Institute (CFI), which studies credit and payment markets, to understand how they affect consumers and the economy. The panel included vice president and CFI assistant director Julia Cheney, Lauren Lambie-Hanson, a senior advisor and research fellow, Daniel Moulton '08, senior manager for data science, and senior research assistant Peter Psathas.

The discussion highlighted for students the broad purview of the Fed in banking supervision, financial institution regulation, and economic research beyond the narrow operations of monetary policy. The panelists spoke about the CFI's role in monitoring how American households spend, save, and borrow and the linkages between financial market conditions, consumption patterns, and financial stability.

The panelists also highlighted their career pathways and how their studies prepared them for their current roles. Lambie-Hanson explained her work on banking accessibility and banking deserts--communities and regions lacking savings institutions. Her interest in these topics was sparked by her doctoral research in urban studies at MIT. After Daniel Moulton studied applied math and computer science at Princeton, he worked for a hedge fund for several years before applying his data science skills to consumer finance and public policy. Julia Cheney also came to the Fed from a private sector career in international banking, leveraging her experience to study payment systems risks and inform regulatory policy. Peter Psathas spoke about the opportunities for graduates to apply their economics and data science training as research assistants in the FRB system.

Students speak with Fed staff.

Princeton students speak with research staff at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.