One of the assertions is that changes in Federal Reserve policy can affect inflation. Do the data support a connection between the rate of increase in the money supply and inflation? Using the data on the growth rate of M2 and inflation in your spreadsheet, run ?a regression of the rate of inflation on the rate of growth of the money supply. What does the coefficient on the money supply variable tell you? What is the meaning of the p-value?Is the regression coefficient significant? Is faster money growth always associated with higher inflation? ?Please make a regression analysis and a scatter plot using the data in your spreadsheet.
BANKING WITH TRUST
You walk into the offices of Bank of Trust early in the morning on February 2nd, 2006. You are employed
by the bank to market proprietary financial products to moderate to high net worth customers. Going into
the break room to grab a cup of coffee, you flip on the TV to CNBC to catch the morning financial news.
The commentator says ?? and the latest release shows that consumer confidence has fallen for the
second straight month. Given this, and the previous statistics on business inventories, it is not surprising
that investors are nervous. So, now, all eyes turn to the Fed?. You switch the TV off. It looks like the
economy is going to be the topic of discussion for the next week. More importantly, the people you work
with will expect you to know what is happening (and maybe explain it to them). It is going to be a busy
Bank of Trust is a mid-tier regional bank, focused primarily on consumer and small business lending.
Historically the bank has funded its loans through traditional bank deposits. However, given the rapid
development in convenience of mutual funds and online investing, the bank has shifted its focus to
offering a larger range of financial products and advice to its high-end customers. This included offering
its own mutual funds, annuity and insurance products from other companies, and financial planning
Bank of Trust has a large staff dedicated to customer relations. Jobs range from handling accounts to
marketing consumers? products to providing financial advice. Your job is to work with this staff to
determine what the best products are and how best to market them. You interact daily with people from
all over the bank, including some of the bank?s major customers (since they are a good source of
information on how the company is doing).
A large part of the bank?s customer base is retired individuals who have had long-term relationships with
the bank. These individuals have a range of financial expertise, some being dedicated followers of the
financial news, while others have never heard of the Federal Reserve.
The bank?s customers get their income from a variety of sources. Most have traditional bank accounts.
Some, particularly the middle age customers, have substantial holdings of stock. Retired investors also
typically have some sort of pension or retirement plan. The bank?s customers can be very concerned
about changes in the economy. Those holding stock are worried about corporate profitability; the more
profitable the company, the higher the value of the stock. Some of those with pensions have other
concerns. Often, the value of their pensions does not keep up with inflation. These investors tend to
watch for signs of future inflation that could mean they would have a lower real income in the years
The growth of GDP seems to be slowing, leading many investors to be concerned about the future
prospects for the economy. One indicator of the weakness of the economy is the decline in consumer
confidence, a measure of how optimistic consumers are about the strength of the economy in the near
future. If this decline continues, it could lead to a decrease in consumer spending. Also, firms have spent
the last two years dramatically expanding their capacity by buying new machinery and building new
factories. Because of this, it is expected that companies are likely to reign in spending on investment
over the next year.
The Economic Research Group of Bank of Trust has provided historical data on GDP along with
forecasted values for the upcoming year (see the spreadsheet on the course website). The forecasts are
based on the information given above, but the forecasts also assume that the Federal Reserve will not
take action. Copyright 2009, Dr. James Dow and Dr. Gordon D. Johnson The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve will be meeting in two weeks to
make a decision on monetary policy. The leading issue at that meeting will be the weakness in the
economy. Many of the members of the FOMC believe that the Federal Reserve should take immediate
action to counter the forecasted decline in the economy. Required:
Sitting down in your office, coffee in hand, you jot down some questions you think might come up during
the day?s discussions. Prepare a report, using the report guidelines from the course website.
To prepare for this case, you may want to review macroeconomics LDC concepts 1, 5, 6, 7, 8,
and 9; and statistics concepts 4, 7 and 8.
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