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The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, financial issues and Southeast regional trends.

Authors for macroblog are Dave Altig and other Atlanta Fed economists.


« August 2007 | Main | August 2008 »

October 02, 2007


Where, Exactly, Is The Atlanta Fed?

Well, I'm not exactly announcing the permanent return of macroblog just yet, but this item from the Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog caught my eye:

Does a local housing market’s performance influence how a Federal Reserve Bank president feels about interest rates? An analysis by J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli suggests it might.

Mr. Feroli looked at home prices in headquarters cities for each of the Fed’s regional districts and found that five of the six with housing markets faring the best didn’t originally request discount-rate cuts last month. “All (Fed) politics is local,” Mr. Feroli writes.

Ahead of the Fed’s most recent policy meeting, seven of the 12 regional banks submitted requests to the Federal Reserve Board to lower the discount rate, for direct loans by the Fed to commercial banks, by half a percentage point. Some of the five that didn’t request the discount-rate reduction — Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and Richmond — may have been less enthusiastic about an aggressive cut in the benchmark federal-funds rate.

Here's a version of the picture illustrating Mr. Feroli's assertion:

   

Feroli_picture

   

That's interesting, but as everyone knows the Federal Reserve Bank districts are a bit larger than the cities in which they are based. Here, for example, is a map of the area represented by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (my current home base):

   

6thdistrict

   

Hmm. What do you suppose happens if I take Feroli's chart and replace Atlanta with Miami (the residents of which have exactly the same claim on the attentions of the Atlanta Fed as those who live in Georgia)? 

   

Anitferoli_picture

   

I trust you get the point.

October 2, 2007 in Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy | Permalink

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Comments

I think the analyst's point may be that the amount of pain you see on the way to and from work at the local FRB office. These are real people who have actual neighbors, friends, and relatives nearby. That can affect your gut level view of how bad the problem is. Remember that one of the Fed's challenges is the delays in getting complete data. What you see in person is real time, but not necessarily representative of a larger area or statistically significant.

Posted by: MalibuRenter | August 14, 2008 at 12:38 PM

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