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2012 Bank Highlights

Improving Urban Resiliency through Community Development

How older industrial cities can become resilient communities was the focus of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s fifth biennial Reinventing Older Communities conference. Community development leaders from nonprofits, banks, foundations, government agencies, and businesses from 24 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada attended.

Conference attendees heard from some of the nation’s leading practitioners and researchers and toured workforce development sites in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, economic revitalization projects in Chester, PA, and waterfront development along the Delaware River. Speakers probed why some cities, rather than others, are resilient. Among those addressing the question of urban resiliency were Charles I. Plosser, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia; Jeremy Nowak, president of J Nowak and Associates, LLC and chairman of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Fed; and Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“In Philadelphia’s Shadow: Small Cities in the Third Federal Reserve District,” a special report written by Alan Mallach, a visiting scholar at the Philadelphia Fed, was released at the conference. The report described 13 small formerly industrial cities in the District and conditions that contributed to their decline and recovery.

From left, Erin Mierzwa, department manager, and Theresa Y. Singleton, vice president and community affairs officer, in the Community Development Studies and Education Department, led the planning for the conference.

From left, Erin Mierzwa, department manager, and Theresa Y. Singleton, vice president and community affairs officer, in the Community Development Studies and Education Department


Bank Highlights - ResearchThe Research Department organized several significant workshops and conferences, including the 10th annual Philadelphia Workshop on Macroeconomics, which was jointly sponsored with the University of Pennsylvania’s Economics Department, the Penn Institute for Economic Research, and the International Economic Review. It also held the sixth annual Macroeconomics Across Time and Space conference in partnership with the National Bureau of Economic Research. And the department coorganized a conference on monetary policy, inflation, and international linkages at the Deutsche Bundesbank’s training center in Eltville, Germany. The Research Department also convened the annual conference of the System’s Committee on Regional Analysis and worked with Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School to hold the fourth annual Conference on Urban and Regional Economics. The Research Department collaborated with the Payment Cards Center and the Supervision, Regulation & Credit Department on a conference on improving data and analysis for financial stability.


Conferences convened by Bank departments in 2012 included an annual meeting of System Payments Analysts hosted by the Payment Cards Center (PCC) in June. The meeting featured new collaborative tools developed by the PCC, presentations by researchers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and a presentation on the role of research in the Federal Reserve Financial Services’ new strategic plan. The PCC also hosted a conference on consumer financial protection regulations attended by 80 representatives from commercial banks, credit card companies, academia, nonprofits specializing in consumer financial education, policy-making entities, and the Federal Reserve System. In addition, the PCC introduced a new section of the Bank’s website that features the research and expertise of the entire Bank on topics related to consumer credit and payments.

Participants in the July 2012 'Making Sense of Money and Banking' five-day program Participants in the July 2012 “Making Sense of Money and Banking” five-day program.


The Bank also convened a number of professional development programs for educators, including its annual “Making Sense of Money and Banking” program, as well as “Making Sense of Money and Banking 2,” which was offered to primary and secondary school teachers who had attended “Making Sense of Money and Banking” courses since 2004. Another 48 educators participated in the Bank’s “Entrepreneurship and You,” an after-school professional development program that focuses on the framework for teaching entrepreneurship and economics topics in the classroom.

As part of our financial literacy efforts, Bank staff trained 35 teachers, 14 of whom represented majority-minority schools, to teach the “Keys to Financial Success” course. These 14 teachers reach an estimated 1,025 students per year. In all, teachers from 24 school districts in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia participated.


Cascade FocusThe Bank launched a new publication entitled Cascade Focus, which summarizes research on issues related to community development in low- and moderateincome (LMI) communities and fair and impartial access to credit in underserved markets. On the Bank’s external website, the Community Development Studies and Education Department also released a Community Development Data Dashboard, which provides insights into housing and economic trends in LMI communities in the District and the nation.

The Bank also convened several events for community development leaders, including two events in Philadelphia and Reading on small business lending in collaboration with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. In addition, an event brought together anchor institutions in Chester, PA, in collaboration with Widener University and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of University Partnerships, to discuss the role of such anchor institutions in economic and community development.


PhillyFedCARES PhillyFedCARES PhillyFedCARES


During 2012, the PhillyFedCARES program held a number of volunteering events that took employees out into the community. The program organized two “Days of Caring,” during which 20 employees worked with MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance), located in Center City Philadelphia (left). Employee volunteers also assisted the Andrew Jackson elementary school by painting iron fences and flower planters, sorting over 2,000 books in the school library, and planting employee-donated bushes and plants (center and right).

Approximately 50 Bank employees participated in the 9/11 Heroes Run in Fairmount Park, sponsored by the Travis Manion Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports veterans and their families, as well as the families of fallen service members. PhillyFedCARES is an employee voluntarism group that organizes many community service projects and activities to provide opportunities to Bank staff to serve others.


The Bank expanded outreach to historically black colleges and universities and women’s colleges within the Third District by attending on-campus career fairs and campus events and hosting an event at the Bank for key administrators from an area women’s college to share information about the summer internship program.

The Bank continues to support the Philadelphia Youth Network and WorkReady Philadelphia by participating in such events as “Connect the Dots,” a networking event for Philadelphia high school students and business leaders, and the “Extreme Interview Expo 2012,” an event focused on helping high school students practice interviewing techniques to prepare for the workforce.

The Procurement staff participated in the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce “Vetwork Your Business” event aimed at veteran-owned businesses and services, especially those owned by disabled veterans. Staff also sponsored outreach to minority- and women-owned businesses to provide resources to support successful bid proposals to expand their businesses.


Supervision, Regulation & Credit staff provided major contributions to the Fed’s Stress Testing Model Symposium, which brought together over 250 participants, including many experts from industry, academia, and the Fed. The conference highlighted our Bank’s leadership in model validation and consumer credit modeling used in Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR), mandated for the nation’s largest banks by the Dodd-Frank Act.

The Bank led development of a new quarterly publication and website, Community Banking Connections, on behalf of the Federal Reserve System. Both the website and publication provide important regulatory and supervisory guidance that is specifically directed to community banks. The Bank continues to publish Consumer Compliance Outlook, a quarterly publication that focuses on consumer compliance issues. In addition, the Bank plays a leadership role in the System’s Partnership for Progress program, which provides minority-owned and de novo financial institutions with information and resources.

The Risk Assessment, Data Analysis, and Research (RADAR) team began to collect and manage account-level data on credit cards and mortgages from the largest banks. The monthly files, which include more than a half billion credit card accounts with $600 billion in balances and more than 45 million mortgage loans totaling more than $7 billion, help the Federal Reserve monitor financial stability.

The business technology group established the Supervision Team Site Support Office (STSSO) to develop and implement technology solutions for all Federal Reserve bank examiners. Electronic team site workspaces allow examiners to share information and collaborate more effectively and efficiently.

Community Banking Connections

Consumer Compliance Outlook