Press Releases

Cover for Third Quarter 2017 issue

Nov. 30, 2017

Econ Focus Magazine Looks at Economics of Cyberattacks

The new issue of the Richmond Fed’s Econ Focus magazine looks at the economics of cyberattacks. Large-scale data breaches, some coupled with the exposure of personal information that can be used for identity theft, show no signs of slowing down. Economists are asking how consumers and companies can reap the benefits of increased connectivity while minimizing their vulnerability.
Also in this issue:

  • Subprime auto lending. Subprime auto lending and securitization are on the rise — as are subprime auto loan defaults. Some observers see worrying parallels to the housing boom and bust of a decade ago. But how much risk do these loans actually pose to consumers or to the financial system overall?
  • Universal basic income. Some tech industry leaders and economists have announced support for minimum guaranteed income payments for all. Proponents argue that such a program could reduce poverty and help society counter a coming wave of automation. Debate continues on how these payments could be funded and the likely effects on the labor supply.
  • Waiting for inflation. Inflation has been subdued since the Great Recession, despite a steady recovery and ever-tightening labor market. Does this mean the Fed should hold off on additional interest rate increases? What might it mean for inflation to be “too” low, and how much should we worry about it?
  • Soul City. In the 1970s, Soul City was built on a former plantation in northeastern North Carolina. Its developer wanted to turn the rural site into a multiuse community that would draw blacks and others back to the South. It ended up a victim of a declining national economy, beset by accusations of mismanagement and racial politics.
  • Interview. Douglas Irwin of Dartmouth College discusses trade policy in U.S. history, America’s “China shock” of the 1990s and 2000s, and the appeal of protectionism.
  • More. Coverage of other economic issues affecting the Fifth Federal Reserve District and the nation.

For a free subscription to Econ Focus or for copies of the magazine, call (800) 322-0565 or subscribe online. The articles also are available online.


As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District—including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia—to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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