If university student participants at a recent Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco(SF FRB) Symposium have their way, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will keep the federal funds target rate at 4.5 percent. This result came from a 6-1 vote by student groups from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, and Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), representing seven members of the current FOMC.
The Symposium, jointly sponsored by UH Hilo, UH Manoa, HPU, and the SF FRB, attracting over 100 participants and student observers, was held on the UH Manoa campus Thursday, November 15, 2007. Five representatives from the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank gave presentations and spoke with students about their operations and responsibilities. The Bank representatives then critiqued student performances, which included short verbal statements and presentation of information supporting the recommended vote by each team.
Nine students from UH Hilo, Brian Cama, Fred Duerr, Jason Frederick, Ryan Hamamoto, S. Colin Morrison, Alexander Reed, Abraham Robison, Chantelle Schieven, and Kiera Yabusaki, comprising two of the seven teams, worked for over two and a half months with assistance from Professor David Hammes of the UH Hilo Economics Department preparing for the event. All but Duerr were able to attend the event aided by funding from the College of Business and Economics‘ Center for Economic Education.
Professor Ilan Noy of UH Manoa said that the "Students‘ presentations were also great. The Fed people were positively impressed." UH Hilo students were equally enthusiastic. "We took what we have learned in the classroom and applied it in the real world," said Ryan Hamamoto.