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Regional Roundup

Monday, October 1, 2007

Little Rock Team Takes Top Honors in National Fed Challenge

A team of students from Little Rock (Ark.) Central High School won first place in the spring in the Fed Challenge, a national economics competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve System. The Little Rock team was Shariq Ali, Stuart Shirrell, Cameron Zohoori, Brent Sodman and Hilary Ledwell, with Charles Meyers as an alternate. The coach was teacher George West.

Each of the seven finalist teams made a 15-minute presentation before a panel of judges in a mock Federal Open Market Committee format. Their presentations were based on research of economic conditions and a recommended course of action for monetary policy.

Robert Hopkins, senior executive of the St. Louis Fed's Little Rock Branch, said, "I'm not surprised that the Central High students are national champions. Their willingness to seek constructive criticism, ask questions and dig deeply reflected their commitment. They are a group of smart, talented, hard-working young adults. Their futures are very bright, and we at the Fed wish them well."

GeoFRED™ Gets You Connected to Fed Employment Data

The St. Louis Fed's Research division recently added the GeoFRED™ web-based application, which lets users create thematic maps of U.S. economic data by state, county or metropolitan statistical area. Maps can be generated from more than 12,000 regional data series available in the FRED® database, including civilian labor force, residential population and unemployment rate.

Bankers, economists, teachers or anyone else interested in unemployment rates, government employment rates, manufacturing employment rates and other pertinent information can go to GeoFRED and get the numbers.

Previously, these numbers were available only for the Eighth District as part of a downloadable database. Now, users can click on a map and compare unemployment figures in St. Louis County, Mo., with Harris County, Texas, for example. GeoFRED also can sort numbers by state, MSA and more. The data spans from 1990-2006. Find GeoFRED at

FRED and GeoFRED are trademarks of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Fed Seeks Better Supervision of Subprime Lenders

The Federal Reserve is joining forces with two federal agencies and two associations of state regulators to conduct targeted consumer-protection compliance reviews of selected non-depository lenders with significant subprime mortgage operations.

The pilot project will begin during the fourth quarter of 2007. The review will focus on non-depository subsidiaries of bank and thrift holding companies, as well as mortgage brokers doing business with, or working for, these entities. The states will conduct coordinated examinations of independent state-licensed subprime lenders and their associated mortgage brokers. For more information, see