NEW YORK—A New Jersey team, the Rumson-Fair Haven High School, won the 9th annual Fed Challenge national competition at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, DC on May 3. The Rumson-Fair Haven team proceeded to the national competition as winners on April 23 of the Second District Fed Challenge, which is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The Fed Challenge requires high school teams, comprised of five members, to analyze the current economic situation by simulating an actual Federal Open Market Committee meeting in which members vote to set target short-term interest rates. Team members present their analysis to Federal Reserve officials and other experts, recommend a target interest rate, and respond to questions. Their presentations in this competition were judged by members of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee: governor Ben S. Bernanke, J. Alfred Broaddus, Jr., president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and Sandra Pianalto, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
Coached by economics teacher Joseph Lanza, the Rumson-Fair Haven team is comprised of juniors and seniors: Camy Theese, Amanda Tomney, Eric Robers, Kevin Johnson, and Kimberly Gittleson. The New Jersey team defeated three other teams that reached the final competition, and prevailed over a total of 240 teams nationwide, including approximately 100 teams from the Fed’s Second District which includes New York, northern New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut.
The Fed Challenge was established in 1995 in order to promote among students greater understanding of economics and the role of the Federal Reserve in the economy, and to work with schools to develop the next generation of economists. It is sponsored by the Fed’s Board of Governors and eight regional Federal Reserve Banks around the country.
In the finals, the Rumson-Fair Haven team defeated teams from the Federal Reserve districts of Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Dallas. Citigroup will provide scholarships, grants and prizes to the Rumson-Fair Haven team, its coach, and economics department, as well as awards to seven other teams that took part in the finals and semi-finals.