New York Program students were recently invited to spend the morning at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Students got the opportunity to speak with Andrea Tambalotti, an assistant vice president in the Research and Statistics group at the Fed, and afterwards were treated to a tour of the famous gold vault and a brief overview tour. The group was also joined by Rujun Han '15 who is currently working as a research analyst at the Fed.
Tambalotti’s presentation was particularly interesting, because he gave students a chance to see the perspective of an economist that works within the Fed, an institution that many of the group have studied in depth during their coursework at Hamilton. Tambalotti talked about relevant macroeconomic trends including GDP, potential GDP, and the unemployment gap.
He noted that the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates has created an especially challenging environment for monetary policy. In order to combat this, the Fed has been using a policy known colloquially as Quantitative Easing, or QE, which is uniquely relevant to the New York Fed. Due in part to the New York Fed’s geographical proximity to Wall Street, and special expertise with financial markets, it performs the open market operations for the Federal Reserve system.
The NY Fed also acts as custodian for the gold holdings of many of the world’s major economies. Altogether, the Fed has about $380 billion worth of gold in its vault, the largest concentration of known monetary gold anywhere in the world.