In Brief

A team of Northwestern University students yesterday won a national competition and a share of $47,000 in scholarships and awards, testing their knowledge of how the Federal Reserve creates policy.

Last Updated: 12/01/04

News Release

Northwestern University Team Wins National 'Fed Challenge' Competition

A team of Northwestern University students yesterday won a national competition and a share of $47,000 in scholarships and awards, testing their knowledge of how the Federal Reserve creates policy to foster a strong and stable economy.

The competition, called the "College Fed Challenge," was held at Federal Reserve Board headquarters in Washington D.C. and included teams from three Federal Reserve Districts -- New York, Richmond and Chicago.

Winning team members Aditya Damani, Alexander Leung, Rosa Li, Derek Moeller, and Josh Plavner beat teams from Rutgers University in New Jersey and Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. The Northwestern coach is Dr. Mark Witte.

Each team was comprised of three-to-five undergraduate economics students. They used their research of existing economic, financial and international conditions to prepare a forecast of the economy, to identify potential concerns, and to make recommendations for national monetary policy.

"The Northwestern team presented a good analysis, and they were extremely poised," said Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Education Specialist Tim Schilling, who coordinated the competition for the Bank. "They were also well prepared to answer the judges' questions."

During the competition, the team gave a 20-minute presentation to a panel of judges consisting of economists from the Federal Reserve, the private sector and academia. The judges then questioned the students about how the Fed creates policy to foster a strong and stable economy. Scholarships and awards for the winning team were provided by Moody's Inc.

The competition:

  • Provides education on how Federal Reserve policy-makers develop and implement monetary policy that influences the amount of credit and money in the economy.
  • Teaches students to conduct economic research, think critically, and make presentations.
  • Promotes economics and finance as a career choice.
Preparing for the competition gives students an idea of how economists get ready for a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve group that creates national monetary policy under the guidance of Chairman Alan Greenspan.