How Atlanta Fed Goes to the Grassroots Transcript

Dave Altig, Executive Vice President and Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Edward Bastian, Chief Executive Officer, Delta Airlines
Heath Holtz; Senior Vice President; Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, and Purchasing; Nissan North America Inc.
Larkin Martin, Managing Partner, Martin Farm
Eduardo J. Padrón, President, Miami Dade College
Earl Shipp, Vice President of Operations, U.S. Gulf Coast, Dow Chemical Company
Nicole B. Thomas, Hospital President, Baptist Medical Center South

Dave Altig: Some people think our economists and policymakers never get outside of the marble walls of the Fed. But they don't know about this remarkable interaction between the people of the Federal Reserve Bank and the community that we serve. Our bank representatives go out and collect information by talking to people. This program came about because we realized there was a wealth of information that we wanted to be able to tap as we went about the business of trying to understand what's really going on in the economy.

Edward Bastian: We provide the Atlanta Fed our perspective as to how we see the business world going, how our growth plans coincide—not just the business community, but certainly consumer demand and confidence as well.

Heath Holtz: It's extremely important for industries to be able to provide grassroots information. So what's truly going on within the company? What we see within the industry and what we're seeing within our specific industry sector.

Earl Shipp: In addition to getting the inside of the Federal Reserve's economist[s' heads], it's a chance for me to learn a little bit more about what others are seeing that [is] not necessarily in my industry. The Fed resources that I use the most are the monthly reports, which give a running update of what's going on in different sectors of the economy—particularly areas like retail that I don't see a lot of. You get some indication of sentiment—you know, what are people thinking? Because those are my customers. So access to that type of information is really, really valuable.

Larkin Martin: The Fed assembles involved, engaged people from lots of places in the economy, and the REIN network is a really good example of that. And when you get in a room with intelligent people thinking deeply about the issues that are moving their businesses and there's a robust conversation, everybody wins. The Fed is a good catalyst for that.

Nicole B. Thomas: It is quite an enlightening process as we get to hear the diverse perspectives of multiple industries at the table. And we all have feedback that gets plugged in to what the Fed uses to ultimately generate monetary policy.

Eduardo J. Padrón: Miami is a small business community. Now these are businesses that do not have the privilege of having economists on board to be able to help them guide their decisions. So having access to the brain power of the Fed and having the opportunity to have substantial dialogue about these issues is something that a lot of people value in this community. And it's something that I feel very proud to be associated with.

Nicole B. Thomas: To know that the feedback we're giving about the work we're doing everyday gets taken into account as the Fed is developing monetary policy is so important and it is an honor to serve.

Edward Bastian: It's helpful for us to hear how others are viewing the world that we all live in and operate in. And getting that two-way dialogue is important to us.

Earl Shipp: After joining the Fed and learning more about what the Bank really does and its true role in the economy, you can't help but become an advocate for the Federal Reserve. This is how the Fed is working to better manage the US economy.