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April 14, 2010

Appreciating Spirited Debate

Earlier this month, the Detroit Branch hosted Michigan's High School Fed Challenge competition in which teams of all ages, including freshmen, discussed the current state of the national economy and its outlook going forward, making a policy recommendation at the end of their presentation. As the competition progressed, I noticed all of the presentations shared one characteristic: spirited debate. Every team vigorously discussed which economic indicators should be paid the most attention, a discussion widely shared at recent presentations I've attended.

Today's release of March retail sales figures from the Census Bureau only adds to the argument of what should be given more consideration, the Wall St. point of view or the Main St. point of view? The Wall St. point of view focuses on the rebound in real GDP growth, the increase in many of the components of the index of leading economic indicators, and the winding down of some of the Federal Reserve liquidity programs. However, the Main St. point of view is trained on relatively high unemployment numbers, stagnant incomes, a flat housing market, and consumer cautiousness. Until these two points of view become more synchronized, the economic recovery will continue to be slow and steady.

It was good to see this same debate take place among high school students. All of the students that competed in Detroit should be proud of the work they put in to prepare for the state competition. I hope the same spirited debate is taking place in your classrooms.

Posted by Cindy at April 14, 2010 8:49 PM

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