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Economics students make strong showing at Federal Reserve Bank symposium


Monetary Policy Team participants, from left: Lance Gonzalez, David Murray, Noe De La Torre, Gideon Berhane, May Guerrero, Miguel Roman and L'Arseiline Estonanto.

  • February 11, 2013

A team of Cal State East Bay economics students recently joined peers from private and public universities in making presentations to professional economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Student teams invited to the University Symposium at the Federal Reserve Bank participated in a simulation of a Federal Open Market Committee meeting, delivering their takes on the national economic outlook, followed by monetary policy recommendations ahead of a Federal Reserve Bank meeting.

The CSUEB Monetary Policy Team performed “tremendously well,” said David Murray, a lecturer in Cal State East Bay’s College of Business and Economics, who led the group.

“Their analysis was comprehensive, thorough and professionally mature,” said Murray, who also credited the CSUEB students for pulling their presentation together in three weeks as a co-curricular activity.

Other student teams, representing Saint Mary’s College of California, San Francisco State and University of the Pacific, prepared over three months as part of class assignments for which they received academic credit. Some participants fielded more than one team.

Participating on the CSUEB team gave junior May Guererro, a recent transfer student to Cal State East Bay, new insights into not only how the Federal Reserve operates but also on collaborating with colleagues. She particularly appreciated the exposure to her peers’ creative ideas, she said.

“My team and I worked diligently, putting in 100 percent effort for the project,” said Guererro, 21. “Our lead, Professor Murray, was very helpful. He (provided) us many resources … and tips for each step of the process.”

“His main focus was to have fun and make sure the project was well conveyed,” she said.

Many economists from the Federal Reserve Bank San Francisco Research Department attended presentations, Murray observed. “I noticed them writing down CSUEB team comments, for example on exchange rate trends and yield curve comparisons and their implications, both which were unique among the teams,” he said.

“Having worked at the Federal Reserve and participated in the preparation of the briefing documents and recommendations/rationales, I can confidently say that the CSUEB team had by far the best presentation,” he said.  

Murray added that the CSUEB students worked well together, enjoyed the experience and, most importantly, “did excellent work in recommending a policy direction” to the Federal Open Market Committee representatives.

“They developed a good picture of current economic conditions, (and) they developed an understanding of the Federal Reserve objectives and monetary policy tools,” Murray said. “At least two team members are now interested in working for the Federal Reserve.”

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