Chicago Fed Insights
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By Caroline Beetz Fenske       November 24, 2020

Can Wisconsin Rapids reinvent itself once again? This was the central question raised at the November 18 Project Hometown virtual panel moderated by Steven Kuehl, senior advisor on community and economic development at the Chicago Fed. The paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids closed indefinitely on July 31 after 116 years of continuous operation, explained Kuehl. “The pandemic precipitated a sudden a... Read More

By Caroline Beetz Fenske       November 17, 2020

Leaders from government, business, the health sector, and the philanthropic community held a virtual discussion on November 12th on the economic, social, and public health challenges facing Detroit and Michigan as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Charlie Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, was the moderator of the community forum. This forum is part of the Chicago Fed’s... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       October 23, 2020

Innovation has been an essential driver of economic growth in Chicago. However, the benefits of that innovation have not been experienced equally across the city’s diverse population. The sustained health and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have served as a poignant illustration of the disparities that exist between Chicago’s haves and have-nots. On October 19, Project Hometow... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       September 30, 2020

Experts from five Chicago nonprofit organizations and research institutions convened for a Project Hometown event on September 25 to discuss the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the health and economy of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. While the pandemic has affected everyone, it hasn’t affected everyone equally. Both health and economic outcomes have been more severe for Chicago’s communiti... Read More

By Jane Dokko, Jung Sakong       September 4, 2020

The severe and prolonged economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have stressed the earnings of tens of millions of households. The pandemic has also widened the racial disparities in health and economic outcomes for Black and Latinx families. And the existing social safety net has not provided sufficient cash and in-kind transfers to support families dealing with the impacts of surgin... Read More

By Andy Polacek       August 26, 2020

After the third straight “wettest May on record” for Chicago, if you’re a Chicagoan you may be wondering if your home is at risk for serious flooding. One way to figure this out might be to look at the flood maps provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the federal agency in charge of national disaster preparedness and relief. FEMA flood maps say that only 0.3% of proper... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       August 25, 2020

Iowa, like every U.S. state, has been challenged by the sudden health and economic crises caused by Covid-19. Then on August 10, a severe storm with winds exceeding 100-mph swept across the state, damaging crops and leaving hundreds of thousands of residents without power. To discuss Iowa’s road to recovery, the Chicago Fed’s Project Hometown hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday, August 18, w... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       August 21, 2020

On Monday, August 17, the Chicago Fed’s Project Hometown convened a panel of experts to discuss the past failure and future promise of transportation, urban planning, and architecture to deliver an equitable quality of life across Chicago. Like many cities, Chicago embodies a “tale of two cities: on the one hand, a thriving, glamorous downtown, and on the other hand, the South and West ... Read More

By Sam Schulhofer-Wohl       August 17, 2020

The Federal Reserve has deployed a wide array of emergency lending facilities in response to the economic crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic. By regulation, lending facilities created under the Fed's emergency powers are “backstops,” charging a penalty interest rate that encourages borrowers to obtain funds in the market when possible. Perhaps as a result, as figure 1 shows, many of the Fed facilitie... Read More

By Lisa Camner McKay       August 14, 2020

On Monday, August 10, the Chicago Fed convened a community forum of business, labor, and education leaders as part of its Project Hometown initiative to consider the challenges facing Chicago's workforce amidst the health and economic crises triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. In his opening remarks, Charlie Evans, president and CEO of the Chicago Fed, noted that the current economic situ... Read More

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