A Note from Americas Center Director Stephen Kay

In 2017, the Americas Center continued to work with key stakeholders within and outside the Federal Reserve System to provide leadership key supervisory, financial, and economic matters related to the Americas. In this annual review, we highlight many of our accomplishments, including

  • outreach events focused on Brazil's economic outlook and U.S.-Brazilian ties
  • participation of Atlanta Fed staff as instructors for the Board of Governors's Foreign Technical Assistance (FTA) training programs for examiners from various foreign regulatory agencies in Latin America and other regions
  • workshops featuring new research in international economics and development economics
  • outreach events with South Florida's foreign and international banking community

As we look ahead to 2018, the Americas Center will be involved in a range of initiatives closely aligned with our mission to support the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's responsibilities. We welcome your input on initiatives and invite you to contact us with your thoughts and suggestions.

2017 Highlights

Brazil economic outlook participants

Perspectives on Brazil

The AC and the Brazil-America Chamber of Commerce held its annual Brazil Economic Forecast event. The panel featured economist Fernando de Holanda Barbosa Filho of FGV-Rio, who appeared via Skype and discussed economic projections for 2018, and historian Tom Rogers of Emory University, who provided historical context in his discussion of Brazil's political and economic development. Consul General Jimmy Story from the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro also visited the Atlanta Fed and spoke about Brazil-U.S. economic ties, the challenges of doing business in Brazil, and what it is like to live and work in Rio de Janeiro.

Left to right: Stephen Kay, Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, and Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva

Cuban Economists Visit the Atlanta Fed

Distinguished economists Carmelo Mesa-Lago and Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva visited the Research Department in February. Mesa-Lago is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh. (His latest book, Voces de Cambio en el Sector No Estatal Cubano, was published in 2017.) Pérez Villanueva is a professor in Havana. The economists led a workshop in the Research Department and did a special presentation for Bank staff. They also spoke at a dinner cohosted by the Americas Center the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Both were interviewed for an Economy Matters article that has been translated into Spanish and Portuguese.

Participants in the Atlanta Fed–Emory University international economics workshop

Economic Workshops

The AC and Emory University held the sixth Atlanta Workshop on International Economics at Emory University on December 8–9, 2017. Economists from the Federal Reserve System and leading universities presented and discussed new research related to exchange rates, trade, sovereign risk, and capital flows. Highlights included Minneapolis Fed economist Javier Bianchi's paper "Fiscal Policy, Sovereign Risk, and Unemployment." The AC also partnered with Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Mercer University, and the University of Georgia to cohost the tenth Southeastern International Economic Development Workshop, which brought together researchers from throughout the country to present new research on development economics.

Miami Branch Steps In after Hurricane Maria

The Atlanta Fed staff in Miami and New Orleans cooperated with officials at the New York Fed and the System Cash Product Office in San Francisco to enact a prearranged contingency plan to support Puerto Rico after disruption caused by Hurricane Maria. Starting with a chartered plane out of Orlando on September 26, 2017, the Atlanta Fed's Miami Branch shipped $670 million in currency to Puerto Rico in the two weeks after Maria struck. The plan involved not just the logistics of currency distribution, but also accounting procedures and communications protocols.

Participants in the Central Bank of El Salvador and New York Fed’s visit to the Miami Branch

FRBA Miami Hosts Joint Visit from the Central Bank of El Salvador and New York Fed Central Bank and International Account Services

On September 6, 2017, representatives from the Central Bank of El Salvador conducted their annual visit to the Miami Branch. Central bank officials met with members of Miami International Cash, the New York Fed's Markets Group Central Bank and International Account Services, and a representative from the Board of Directors' Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems group via telepresence. The purpose of the meeting was to review new shipment requirements and discuss current currency and coin trends.

Miami Branch Hosts Fifth ICCOS Tour

On November 2, 2017, the Miami Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta hosted its fifth interactive tour of approximately 52 Cash Cycle Seminar (ICCOS) delegates from across the world. The attendees included senior executives, managers, and other key decision makers involved in the processing, authentication, logistics, and regulation of cash volumes.

The interactive Branch tour included an overview of the Federal Reserve operational areas as well as an economic outlook of South Florida, including coin, paying, receiving, and high-speed areas.

Cash Cycle Seminar delegates

Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernandez and Gabriela Frias

Atlanta Hosts Mexico's Ambassador

Mexican Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez Fernandez spoke at an Atlanta Fed dinner that was cohosted by the AC and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Gabriela Frias, a business anchor for CNN en Español, was the moderator. Ambassador Gutiérrez spoke frankly about the current state of U.S.-Mexican relations and the prospects for maintaining strong commercial and financial ties.

George Holguin receives an award from Socorro Heysen Zegarra of Peru's Banking, Insurance. and Private Pension Fund Authority

International Supervision Group Outreach with Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA)

The International Supervision Group hosted an outreach meeting and luncheon program in October 2017 at the Atlanta Fed's Miami Branch for several members of FIBA's board of directors. The roundtable forum, coordinated by the International Supervision Group, covered a number of topics of mutual interest to both the Atlanta Reserve Bank and Miami's foreign and international banking community and served as a platform for meaningful dialogue on emerging issues facing the banking industry in South Florida.

S&R's Contributions to Federal Reserve System Foreign Technical Assistance

George Holguin received special recognition from the Peruvian Bank Superintendency for having served 20 years as an instructor. With the exception of teaching a different course during his first year, Holguin has taught at the Bank Analysis and Examination School in Lima for 19 consecutive years. This one-week school is part of a three-month course for graduate students and bank examiners. The course is organized by the Peruvian Banking Superintendency and is sponsored by the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas located in Mexico City. The class is taught in Spanish, and the students come from Peru and several other Latin American countries.

Separately, supervision and regulation staff from both Atlanta and Miami participated as System Foreign Technical Assistance instructors at schools sponsored by multilateral associations or foreign regulatory agencies located in Mexico, Panama, Bahamas, Colombia, and Germany. Supervision and regulation staff also participated as instructors in training schools for foreign regulatory agency examination staff held in the United States in conjunction with the Board of Governors.