How can regulators make sure that America's banks are ready to weather a future crisis in the economy? There are no guaranteed solutions, but many believe that part of the answer is subjecting banks to stress tests. What is stress testing, and how does it work? This featured article in the latest issue of Region Focus looks at these and other questions about this recent addition to regulators' toolkits.
Also in this issue:
• A wallet in every phone. Mobile payments have taken off in Kenya. Will Americans soon be using their smartphones at the counter on a widespread basis instead of credit cards and debit cards?
• Journey to work. Germany and Switzerland send far more of their students into apprenticeships than the United States does. Some say that the German and Swiss models could help more young Americans succeed economically — but there are trade-offs.
• Interview with Steven Landsburg of the University of Rochester, author of The Armchair Economist, on explaining economics to noneconomists.
Region Focus is the economics magazine of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. It covers economic issues affecting the Fifth Federal Reserve District (the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia) and the nation.
For free copies of Region Focus, contact the Bank's Research Publications division at (800) 322-0565. The articles are available online at http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/.
The Richmond Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and most of West Virginia. As part of the nation's central bank, we're one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that work together with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors to strengthen the economy and our communities. We manage the nation's money supply to keep inflation low and help the economy grow. We also supervise and regulate financial institutions to help safeguard our nation's financial system and protect the integrity and efficiency of our payments system.