Last Updated: 12/06/21

2021 Events

Thirty-Fifth Annual Economic Outlook Symposium

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago hosted an annual Economic Outlook Symposium at year-end. High-caliber speakers discussed the major sectors of the economy and make their forecasts on economic activity. In addition to a keynote speaker, presenters discussed the emerging economic trends that will influence different sectors of the economy.

December 3, 2021

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Agriculture Conference

Biofuels in the Midwest: Today and Tomorrow

Electric vehicle production is on the rise, while corn ethanol usage during the pandemic faltered. The role of government is in flux as debates about the Renewable Fuel Standard and other policies continue. What will these factors mean for the future of biofuels, the agriculture industry, and the midwestern economy?

November 30, 2021

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Supporting Detroit Minority Businesses: Access to Capital—Survey Results

In this virtual event we explored the findings from a recent survey of minority businesses in metro Detroit. We highlighted the experiences of minority business owners in accessing needed capital and financing both before and during the pandemic. We also examined how these small and micro businesses fared during the pandemic and their near-term outlook.

November 17, 2021

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2021 Community Bankers Symposium: Banking on the Future

We were pleased to present the 15th annual Community Bankers Symposium, “Banking on the Future”, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. The event was virtual this year via WebEx.

October 22, 2021

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Charging Ahead with Electrification—A Conversation About the Auto Industry

We are at the beginning of a dramatic shift in the auto industry—a transformation that will impact manufacturers, their workforce, and the Detroit region. During this one-hour virtual conversation, we discussed the transformative changes ahead, the driving forces behind them, their economic implications, and the challenges and opportunities they offer for workers.

October 6, 2021

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Exploring Career Pathways in Economics and Related Fields

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and The Sadie Collective hosted this virtual event designed to provide Black college students and high school students with an opportunity to learn more about career pathways in economics and related fields.

September 9–10, 2021

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Learning Loss and Renewal After the Pandemic

This virtual panel brought together experts to discuss learning loss for students during the pandemic, as well as the potential impacts of disruption on future academic achievement and economic opportunity.

August 10, 2021

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Charting Detroit’s Fiscal Future: Challenges and Opportunities

Like many large cities, Detroit has experienced reduced economic activity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also changed how and where people work, thus lowering tax collection. Despite the challenges ahead, there is some good fiscal news for Detroit. Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Detroit is slated to receive more than $800 million in federal revenues. In this Project Hometown event, we explored the revenue and spending challenges facing Detroit and discussed how the federal revenues could be spent to bolster the city.

July 14, 2021

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Community Bank Operational Risk Workshop

State Member Bank management will be able to learn more about operational risk and its underlying components including Audit, Information Technology, Third Party, BSA/AML, and Fraud. The session will provide an overview of the individual risk stripes while also sharing trends, best practices, and industry topics.

May 19, 2021

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Brighter Prospects for Chicago’s Youth: Strengthening Summer Jobs and Beyond

This virtual event will focus on the important role summer jobs can play for Chicago’s South and West side youth as vaccination rates rise and the pandemic shows signs of abating. Government, industry, community development and research leaders will highlight the pandemic’s impact on youth, including the ramifications of school closures, and strategies to support teens as the nation looks to recover. The panelists will discuss how summer jobs can benefit the economic prospects for youth, particularly those from Chicago’s Black and Latinx communities, and ways in which employers, non-profits, mentors, and volunteers can work together to grow opportunities for summer jobs and the valuable experiences they provide.

May 5, 2021

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Supporting Detroit Minority Business: Access to Capital and Lessons Learned

This virtual event brought together business leaders, community organizations, and researchers to discuss the availability of finance and capital to predominantly Black-owned businesses in Detroit. The pandemic is contributing to high failure rates across small businesses in the city, and public programs such as PPP have had difficulty reaching many of these firms. The panel discussed both internal and external barriers that these firms face in accessing capital. Why do these firms often lack traditional banking relationships? What type of capital are they looking for? What programs already exist that might help support these businesses that are often critical to the local economy?

March 4, 2021

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Strengthening the Community Reinvestment Act to Advance Financial Inclusion and Equity

The CRA encourages banks and communities to work together to create opportunity and address the needs of low- and moderate-income areas. As regulators consider the first major update to the CRA in 25 years, it is vital to foster dialogue around the law’s impact and how it can be strengthened further.

Community development staff from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will review key elements of a recent Federal Reserve proposal for reforming the CRA, and will highlight questions for public feedback. A panel of community development experts will then share their views on how the CRA could be strengthened to further the law’s core purpose of addressing systemic credit inequities. A Q&A session will follow the panel discussion.

February 4, 2021

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Advancing Household Financial Stability in Detroit

In Detroit, as in other American cities, the health and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been felt disproportionally by some groups and neighborhoods. Lower-paid workers are being impacted the hardest, with those in the restaurant, hotel, and entertainment industries among those experiencing the highest rates of job loss. Many newly unemployed workers have little personal savings to cushion the blow.

before the pandemic, disadvantaged groups in Detroit were experiencing significant challenges. Many economists agree that the fallout from the Great Recession of 2007–09 was particularly severe in Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy in 2013. With economic hardship caused by the collapse in the housing market still fresh in the memories of Detroit residents, many fear that the current crisis will further impede growth and recovery for the city.

The forum brings together diverse perspectives on how Detroit’s people can recover from the pandemic, overcome long-standing inequities, and rebuild for resilience.

February 2, 2021

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Bridging the Digital Divide for an Inclusive Future

The economic future of both urban and rural places depends on overcoming the digital divide. The pandemic has put into stark relief the ramifications of being on the wrong side of the divide. In particular, the strains on our public education systems, most of which have implemented some form remote learning since March, may have impacts lasting a generation or longer. Besides its effects on education at all levels, digital exclusion (or marginalization) has impacted access to stimulus benefits; efforts to rapidly scale up tele-medicine; work from home; and even basic tasks, such as banking, shopping online for necessities, and connecting with family and friends during a period of crisis. This panel will bring together experts to discuss the current state of the digital divide. They will highlight solutions for building broadband infrastructure where it’s needed, providing access to digital devices, and promoting digital literacy, which has become critical for gaining living-wage employment.

January 28, 2021

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Climate Change Risk in Financial Markets: Advancing the Conversation in 2021

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Financial Market Group opened 2021 with a conversation on climate change risk in financial markets.

Panelists representing diverse perspectives discussed the following:

  • How has climate change risk impacted global financial markets to date, and what can we expect moving forward?
  • What are some of the key developments to watch out for—in terms of technology, investing practices, new guidance, etc.?
  • What role can financial markets and the public sector play in better managing this risk moving forward?
  • What are some of the strengths of and opportunities for existing efforts?

January 14, 2021

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27th Annual Automotive Insights Symposium

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the global economy in ways not seen since World War II. In the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. economy contracted 31.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, and auto sales fell to levels not seen since the 1970s. This has left many OEMs and suppliers wondering how and when their businesses will emerge from the pandemic and if the dynamics of the industry will be changed forever.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, together with Wards Intelligence, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), MICHauto, the Detroit Regional Partnership, and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), presented a program that covered the state of the automotive industry.

January 13, 2021

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Last Updated: 12/06/21

2021 Events

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