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Press Releases

Research Notes–January 2009

Featuring research published in December 2008


Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Stabilization of the U.S. Mortgage Finance System
Dec. 15, 2008
W. Scott Frame, financial economist and policy adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, comments on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s current issues and offers some principles for federal involvement in these markets over the long term to the Atlanta Rotary Club, in Atlanta, Ga.

On Economic Conditions and Building a Recovery
Dec. 4, 2008
Dennis P. Lockhart, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, comments on current economic conditions and building a recovery to the U.S. Association of Energy Economics Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La.


After Rocky 2008, U.S. Consumers Seek Stable Ground in 2009
EconSouth Q4 2008
Heading into a new year, the U.S. economy faces many of the challenges that made 2008 difficult: tight financial markets, rising foreclosure rates, and job losses. By almost any yardstick, 2009 will also present formidable challenges.

Undocumented Worker Employment and Firm Survivability
Working Paper 2008-28
Firms employing undocumented workers have a competitive advantage over those that don’t, the authors find. In addition, firms are more likely to employ undocumented workers if their competitors do.

Dollar Continued Ascent in November
The average monthly value for the trade-weighted dollar index of 15 major currencies tracked by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta rose 2.3 percent in November from the previous month.


The Evolution of the Check as a Means of Payment: A Historical Survey
Econmic Review Vol. 93, No. 4
Despite their relative inefficiency, checks dominated the twentieth-century U.S. payment system. This article traces checks’ thousand-year history, discussing how events created comparative advantages for checks that are only now being overcome by electronic payment methods.

Regional Economics

Region Hopes for Turnaround
EconSouth Q4 2008
In 2008 the economy in the Southeast had a few bright spots with a weaker dollar boosting tourism and some manufacturing industries that produced goods for export. The 2009 outlook for the Southeast is similar to 2008, but potential increases in unemployment, restrained consumer spending, and uncertainty in energy markets will affect the economy.

International Economics

Global Economies Anticipate a Tepid 2009
EconSouth Q4 2008
The slowing economic growth that countries around the world encountered in 2008 should persist into 2009. Hopes for a swift recovery are dim and hinge on several fragile developments.

Determinants of Domestic and Cross-Border Bank Acquisitions in the European Union
Working Paper 2008-26
In the European Union, larger banks and those that are poorly managed are likelier to be acquired by domestic banks. Banks listed on the stock market are more likely to be acquired by foreign banks.

Bank Capital Ratios across Countries: Why Do They Vary?
Working Paper 2008-27
The authors find that banks in countries with effective governance structures, stringent capital requirements, and prompt corrective action procedures tend to maintain higher capital ratios.


The Southeastern Economy in 2009 (MP3 9:27)
EconSouth Now
Julie Hotchkiss and John Robertson, economists and policy advisers in the Atlanta Fed's research department, discuss the economic outlook for the Southeast in 2009.

Employment and the Regional Economy (MP3 5:38)
Southeastern Economic Perspectives
Michael Chriszt, assistant vice president in the Atlanta Fed's research department, discusses the region's economy and focuses on recent employment trends.