Econ Focus (formerly Region Focus) is the economics magazine of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. It covers economic issues affecting the Fifth Federal Reserve District and the nation and is published on a quarterly basis by the Bank's Research Department.
Some observers have argued that the financial crisis has disproven what has become known as the "efficient market hypothesis." But the conclusions of the hypothesis are more modest than its critics often suggest.
More than half of Fortune 500 firms were founded in recessions or bear markets. Well-known companies like Burger King, Hyatt, and Microsoft were either launched or conceived during a recession. Is there something special about economic hardship that spurs entrepreneurship?
College sticker prices have outstripped inflation for three decades. That trend is likely to continue as long as demand remains strong and opportunities for institutions to increase their productivity are limited.
While the housing market struggles to recover, the Government National Mortgage Association's business is booming. Yet a large share of the mortgage-backed securities it guarantees is from loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which has experienced an increasing default rate in its portfolio.
The Cash for Clunkers program seemed quite popular. But did it really provide a robust boost to economic growth or did it simply spur vehicle consumption earlier rather than later?
|President's Message||The Importance of Financial Education|
|Upfront||Economic News Across the Region|
|Federal Reserve||The Evolution of Fed Independence||Related Links|
|Jargon Alert||Prisoner's Dilemma||Related Links|
|Research Spotlight||How Forecasts Can Influence the Present||Related Links|
|Policy Update||New Credit Card Rules Could Harm Some||Related Links|
|Around the Fed||Lending Standards and the Foreclosure Crisis||Related Links|
|Interview||George Kaufman||Full Interview
|Economic History||A Tale of Two Virginias||Related Links|
|Book Review||This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly|
|District Digest||Economic Differences Between Rural and Metro Areas in the Fifth District|
|Opinion||Why Efficiency Matters…Even if You Value Equality|