Saturday, April 12, 2014

Economic Analyst from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Lectures at UT Tyler

On Wednesday, April 9th, Senior Economic Education Specialist Princeton Williams from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas lectured to several classes within the Economics Department regarding the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, and the overall Federal Reserve in the United States and its role within the United States economy. 

Williams joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 2006 as senior economic education specialist. Prior to holding this position, he was a high school economics teacher who taught AP macroeconomics and AP microeconomics at Paschal High School in Fort Worth. He coauthored the district's economics curriculum, mentored new economics teachers, and conducted citywide review sessions for AP students.  Williams received a BBA from Southern Methodist University and a MA in economics from the University of Texas at Arlington. During his graduate studies, he interned in the economic and market analysis division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas 
Williams' position in the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas consists primarily of public affairs work. He often lectures high school and college students about the utility of the Federal Reserve, and the common misconceptions that the public has about the function of the Federal Reserve. He also leads teacher workshops in the state to improve the economics curriculum within the Texas school system, and he is currently creating an economics curriculum for middle school students in Texas. He also does analysis work over academic work written by economic theorists, mainly by bridging the gap from academia to the public, where said work can often be misconstrued or misinterpreted due to a lack of education in that particular field. 

In the class I was in where he lectured, Issues in Public Policy, several points of discussion were covered. We first discussed the utility of Bitcoin, digital currency that is gaining momentum within the U.S. economic system. Williams finds that the fluid nature of Bitcoin and the uncertainty regarding its value on a day-to-day basis makes it a somewhat unpredictable and possibly unstable alternative for investment in the U.S. We also covered the security of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, where rumors and perceptions of "bank heists" that occur in popular entertainment (Die Hard With a Vengeance, for example), are entirely unfeasible.

Next, there was a discussion over the new Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen; primarily, her strengths and weaknesses within that position in comparison to former Fed chair, Ben Bernanke. Finally, there was a hefty talk over the fiscal policy of the US government, and how the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington often clash with fiscal policy, and how these issues can be resolved within the next decade. 

We are extremely grateful for the time Williams spent with our economics classes, and hope that he comes back soon to talk with us more about the economic state in the United States and the Federal Reserve's function within this system. 

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