The College Fed Challenge is an annual monetary policy competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve. Five of the twelve Federal Reserve districts participate in the currently virtual competition. Schools in the other seven districts are combined into an at-large district.
Teams of students make a 15 minute presentation that covers the state of the economy and financial markets and then provide recommendations about various dimensions of monetary policy, including the federal funds rate, the Fed’s balance sheet, and communications. After the presentation, teams answer questions from a panel of judges.
The first round of Boston district competition was held on October 14. Eighteen teams were divided into three brackets of six teams. Bentley’s bracket included Dartmouth, Babson, Middlebury, Roger Williams, and Holy Cross. The top two teams from each bracket then advanced to the regional final round on October 16.
Bentley and Dartmouth were joined by Northeastern, Tufts, Yale, and Harvard in the regional final. Each of the six teams again gave their presentation and took questions from a panel of judges from the Boston Fed.
The top three teams advanced to the national semifinals. We are very proud that Bentley, along with Dartmouth and Harvard, represented the Boston District in the national semifinals.
The recorded presentations of each of the three Boston teams were judged by economists from the Federal Reserve Board in Washington DC. On November 8, the Bentley team answered questions from a panel of judges from the Board. On November 18, the six regional winners were announced along with the national champion at a virtual meeting with Jerome Powell. Dartmouth won the Boston region and Princeton won the national competition.
The ten students on the Bentley team:
Sarah-Lucia De Meyer
Based on their assessment of the economy, they recommended that the Fed increase the target range of the federal funds rate another 0.75% to 3.75%-4%, continue with the balance sheet drawdown of $95 billion/month, communicate their commitment to reducing the inflation rate, and be aware of potential liquidity issues in short term funding markets.
Bentley has been competing in the Fed Challenge since 2007. We have won the Boston regional competition four times: 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2015. At the national level, we won the national championship in 2010, were runner up in 2012, and were honorable mentions in 2014 and 2015. The Boston region is perhaps the most competitive region in the entire Fed Challenge, featuring Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, BC, BU, Tufts, and a host of other top schools.