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Chicago Fed Letter

Community Banking: A Time of Promise and Challenge

Jeff Bonham, Paul Curtis-Wittenberg, Whitney Hanson, Pamela Kennedy, Robert Millerick, and Gregory Rensink

The 13th annual Community Bankers Symposium, cosponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on November 16, 2018. During a full day of speeches and panels, a group of 160 community bank executives, financial industry practitioners, and regulatory agency professionals who work in the Seventh Federal Reserve District1 explored the evolving landscape of community banking.2 This article provides an overview of the event’s key presentations and discussions.

Technology’s Impact on Farming and the Rural Midwest

David B. Oppedahl

On November 27, 2018, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held a conference to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies to farms and rural areas in the Midwest and other parts of the U.S. Experts from academia, industry, and policy institutions gathered to discuss how technological advances have reshaped the rural economy and how they may affect its future.

Economic Outlook Symposium: Summary of 2018 Results and 2019 Forecasts

William A. Strauss and Kelley Sarussi

According to participants in the Chicago Fed’s annual Economic Outlook Symposium (EOS), the U.S. economy is forecasted to grow at a pace somewhat above average in 2019, with inflation ticking down and the unemployment rate remaining low.

Homeowners’ Financial Protection Against Natural Disasters

Alejandro Drexler, Andrew Granato, and Richard J. Rosen

Over the past few years, many people in the U.S. have had to deal with damage to their homes from natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey. This article explains the different kinds of financial protection from natural catastrophes that homeowners can access from the private and public sectors.

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