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



Third Quarter 2010

Fuzzy Math

Cover Story

Fuzzy Math: Public pensions are underfunded – how bad is it?

Millions of Americans rely on public pensions for retirement, but the funding status of many plans took a big hit during the recession. Some observers worry that public pensions will prove to be a major economic problem, while others say the issue will largely resolve itself as the economy recovers.
Related Links


Continental Divide: How did the European debt crisis become so severe?

Fiscal problems in a number of European countries have raised concerns about long-term economic performance and the future of the eurozone, as well as the implications for the American economy.
Related Links

Furniture Firms Eke Out Gains

Furniture sales began to pick up in the first half of 2010 after slumping during the recession. Custom upholstery and mattress manufacturing represent two bright spots in the domestic furniture industry.
Related Links

Out from the Shadows

The financial crisis shed light on the so-called “shadow” banking sector, the not clearly understood area in which much of the turmoil took place. Understanding the functions, purpose, and instabilities of the system will be key to successful reform.
Related Links

Can the Music Industry Adapt to the Digital Future?

Digital downloads and illegal file sharing signal a need for the music industry to adopt a new business strategy. But the jury is still out on how artists and labels can profit in a world where consumer preferences have fundamentally changed.
Related Links


Department Article Additional Resources
President's Message A New Approach to Federal Housing Policy
Upfront Regional News at a Glance
Policy Update Financial Reform Moves Forward, Challenges Remain Related Links
Federal Reserve The Changing Face of Monetary Policy Related Links
Jargon Alert Regulatory Capture Related Links
Research Spotlight Unemployment Benefits and Job Searches Related Links
Interview Bruce Caldwell

Full Interview

Related Links
Economic History Utopia, USA Related Links
Around the Fed Funny Money and Phone Payments Related Links
District Digest The Roles of New and Existing Establishments in Employment in the Fifth District
Opinion Macroprudential Supervision: Proceed with Caution
Contact Us


Aaron Steelman
Publications Director
(804) 697-2658