Econ Focus

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.

Region Focus



Spring 2009

Reforming the Raters

Cover Story

Reforming the Raters: Can regulatory reforms adequately realign the incentives of credit rating agencies?

Amid the financial turmoil, many have criticized the bond rating agencies. How do these agencies operate? And what do economists have to say about the role they play in a healthy capital market?
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Honeybees: Market for pollination services grows

Some beekeepers in the Fifth District sell pollination services to farmers as far away as California's almond fields. This market has expanded as wild bee populations have declined and honeybee hives have suffered from a variety of pests and problems.
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Silver Screen Subsidies: Is hoping to land the next Hollywood hit a sound economic development strategy?

State legislators often try to lure movie and television productions to their states. But the effectiveness of these policies as an economic development tool is in question.
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Clear Skies? The fight for dominance in the airline industry

The recession and oil price shocks have made for a turbulent few years for the airline industry. Today, strong competition and shifts in market realities are changing how airlines operate and will have real implications for future air travel.
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Veto Politics: Can a line-item veto reduce spending?

The line-item veto power held by a state governor is often thought to keep the spending of the legislature in check. However, economists who have studied the issue have come to realize that the conventional wisdom may not be entirely correct.
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Department Article Additional Resources
President's Message The (Limited) Role of Credit Ratings in the Financial Crisis
Upfront Economic News Across the Region
Federal Reserve Capital Cushions Related Links
Jargon Alert Underemployment Related Links
Research Spotlight Have Free Markets Failed Us? Related Links
Policy Update Are CEOs Paid too Much? Related Links
Around the Fed What Prolonged the Great Depression? Related Links
Interview Allan Meltzer Related Links
Economic History Sport of Kings Related Links
District Digest Increased Productivity and Trade Have Reduced Manufacturing Employment
Opinion The Importance of Luck
Contact Us


Aaron Steelman
Publications Director
(804) 697-2658