Manhattan Competes at 2019 Fed Challenge

by C. GARRETT KEIDELSports Editor

Manhattan College competed in the Fed Challenge this past October at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. The Fed Challenge is a competition for colleges to put together a team and produce a 15 minute presentation on the current economic status of the country, and to predict what it might look like in a couple years to the Federal Reserve.

Along with the 15 minute presentation, the teams also prepare for 15 minutes of questions, along with their advice to the Federal Reserve.

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Participants in the 2019 Fed Challenge. From left to right: Leonid Kozlov, Julianne Cavaliere, Victoria Adams, Richard Gerling, Dr. Hany Guirguis, Eva Vredenburgh, Andrew Horowitz, Matthew Stoeski, Carl Erickson. RICHARD GERLING / COURTESY

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the competition is “a competition designed to bring real-world economics into the classroom. Teams play the role of monetary policymakers by analyzing economic conditions and recommending a course for monetary policy.”

Last year the team competed in the Fed Challenge and didn’t make it past the first round. Unfortunately the same result came for the Jaspers who competed again this year, but as a younger team in the competition – there will be no graduating members from this year’s team- they hope to build on the experience and create an even better project for next year.

Junior finance and economics major, Richard Gerling commented on the team’s showing for a younger group.

“[I’m proud of] the amount of work that was done,” said Gerling. “We had such a good showing and everyone on the team is coming back next year. The team is going to be the exact same team so we will have an even stronger showing, and then we will even have more time to prepare for questions.”

Eva Vredenburgh, a junior majoring in Finance and minoring in business analytics, also commented on having a younger team.

“Having a younger team too shows how passionate and driven everyone is about the material,” said Vredenburgh. “Especially for the freshman and sophomores to start so early, I think it’s so impressive and will definitely give us a leg up in the years ahead.”

In preparation for the event, the team meets very often in the early mornings and evenings of the week and on weekends. Even though the competition for this year has come to a close, the team is already looking on how they are going to improve for next year.

“Right now, everyone is starting an individual research project associated with the overall presentation,” said Gerling. “The concept of the presentation is that it should be a reflection of the current economic environment with a two year projection of where it could go.”

There are definite challenges and lessons to be learned through the experience. Time management is key with daily meetings starting at 6am. But also the lessons through the material and the field of study are worthwhile.

Vredenburgh said, “I would say the biggest lesson learned besides the time management, is also just realizing how much I love economics and reading into all of the articles and learning more about this information.”

Gerling also cited the importance of the project in learning outside of the classroom.

Gerling said, “You definitely learn even more than you do beyond your class. All of the presentation information you work with goes beyond what you do in even the advanced classes. You get a leg up because you have this extensive knowledge.”

As the team looks towards next year, they want to spread a message of inclusivity in the group.

“I would definitely encourage anyone who is interested in economics or finance to consider joining the team or at least get more information on it,” said Vredenburgh. “It just expands your knowledge on the subject more and gives you a more global sense of economics and how relevant this information is to our everyday lives.”

Editor’s note: Richard Gerling has served as a staff writer for The Quadrangle.