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Q&A with Ninth District Teachers Following Chairman Bernanke’s Teacher Town Hall

Minneapolis, MN

Q&A with Ninth District Teachers Following Chairman Bernanke’s Teacher Town Hall

Thanks, Claudia, for the introduction, and thanks to you all of you for joining us here today. More importantly, I’d like to thank all of the teachers here for all of the work you do on behalf of economic and financial literacy. I’ll be brief in my prepared remarks. I’d like to use our half-hour together to engage in a dialogue about economic and financial education, and to hear your thoughts about what sorts of initiatives you think might be helpful.

The Fed’s commitment to financial education is as much a personal one for me as it is an institutional one, as is true for many others in the System. Like the chairman, and like all of you, I have spent a large part of my working life in front of classrooms, and so I come to my current position with a deep appreciation for the importance of economic and financial literacy. Entering the world of policymaking has only reinforced that belief, with the lessons of the recent financial crisis a strong case in point.

Of course, the Minneapolis Fed’s efforts in this area have long pre-dated my own relatively brief tenure as president. To give but one of many examples, our Community Development staff have spearheaded the Bank’s participation in personal financial education through their involvement with the Jump$tart Coalition. It’s worth emphasizing that, at the broader System level, the Fed plays a role in developing materials for teachers of economics and personal finance to use in the classroom, all the way from kindergarten through college. Anyone interested in seeing the materials created by staff here and at other district Reserve Banks can go to to see what is available.

I don’t have much more to say—but I feel that I would be enormously remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the outsized contributions of Claudia Parliament. Economic and financial educators in Minnesota and around the country have had no better ally than Claudia and the Minnesota Council for Economic Education. Everyone attending this week’s conference can see how tirelessly she has worked for years to promote economic and financial education. She recently retired but is still active, as evidenced by her presence today. Let’s all take a moment to express our gratitude. Thanks, Claudia.

I’m ready to start taking questions.