Loretta J. Mester, PhD, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, addresses attendees at the campus’ Selby Auditorium on Friday as part of Financial Literacy Day.

USF Sarasota-Manatee campus welcomes Fourth Annual Financial Literacy Day: Understanding Global Markets and Finance

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: February 14, 2020

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus on Friday welcomed Loretta J. Mester, PhD, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and a lineup of distinguished speakers to the Fourth Annual Financial Literacy Day: Understanding Global Markets and Finance.

“The Federal Reserve is very interested in promoting financial literacy,” Mester told a capacity crowd at the campus’ Selby Auditorium. “One of the reasons is that we really believe that the economy performs better if people are equipped with knowledge to make sound investment and savings decisions.”

Created in March 2017 to promote financial education, Financial Literacy Day is a forum for investors, state and local officials, financial institutions, market analysts, pension trustees, policy makers and members of the general public to learn more about financial markets and economic issues and to pose questions of experts. About 150 people attended.

Karen A. Holbrook, PhD

“It’s so good to see so many of you here and to welcome you to what has become a much-anticipated insider’s view of finance and economic activity not just here but around the world,” USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook, PhD, told attendees as the conference got underway. “We are so very fortunate to have hosted a series of high-quality speakers and important events over the past several weeks on our campus.”

In mid-January, former U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria Eric S. Rubin shared his expertise as one of the world’s foremost thought leaders on foreign affairs to kick off the USF Sarasota-Manatee Diversity Lecture Series. A few weeks after that, on Jan. 24, Craig Schedler, managing director of Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, joined a lineup of financial-technology experts as part of FinTech 2020: Financial Services and the New Digital Economy.

On Feb. 21, USF Sarasota-Manatee is set to host Drone TETRA 2020, a conference offering insight and education into emerging drone technologies. And on March 20, the GIC-USF Sarasota-Manatee Outlook on Energy Policy program will take place to explore investment options in the energy sector, policy approaches to climate change and energy’s affect on Federal Reserve policies.

Other headliners at Financial Literacy Day included Jay Bryson, PhD, managing director and acting chief economist at Wells Fargo Bank; William A. Strauss, senior economic advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; and Michael McKee, an international economics and political correspondent at Bloomberg TV and Radio.

Also featured:

  • Megan E. Greene, senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School
  • Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, which produces the DataTrek Morning Briefing on investment and economic news
  • John R. Mousseau, president, CEO and director of fixed income at Cumberland Advisors
  • Dave Nadig, managing director of ETF.com, which provides news and analysis about exchange-traded funds
  • Chris Hartshorn, chief commercial officer at risQ, Inc., which models financial risks posed by climate change
  • Christopher Whalen, chairman of Whalen Global Advisors, LLC, and the author of three books, including, Ford Men: From Inspiration to Enterprise (Laissez Faire Books, 2017)
  • Eddie Sanchez Jr., DBA, a professor of finance at USF Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota-based Cumberland Advisors, the Global Interdependence Center (GIC) and USF Sarasota-Manatee sponsored the annual half-day conference. Holbrook and David R. Kotok, chief investment officer and chairman of the board at Cumberland Advisors, offered welcoming remarks.

Divided into panel discussions, the event focused on two chief topics: the bond market, which explored categories of debt and debt influences, including budget deficits and central bank quantitative easing; and Real Time Payments, examining digital currencies, including Bitcoin and Libra, and mobile payment services such as Venmo.

Also discussed was the danger posed by deficits and debt and what can be done to ease their impact. Mester, who became president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in June 2014, focused her talk on digital payment services, cryptocurrencies and the FedNow Service announced last year. FedNow, which is expected to debut in 2023 or 2024, will enable immediate payment servicing instead of the usual three to four days currently allowed by banks for check processing.

“This new inter-bank payment service will allow people all over the country to make payments securely and in real time, at all times of the day and night, including weekends and holidays,” she said. “This will make it easier for individuals and businesses to manage money and to make time-sensitive payments.”

Mester later spent time in a Q&A with faculty and students while attendees visited the campus’ David Kotok and Cumberland Advisors Bloomberg Lab, which offers instruction on Bloomberg financial terminals used by Wall Street professionals. The 12 terminals were a gift of Kotok and Cumberland Advisors in 2017.

To learn more about Cumberland Advisors, visit https://www.cumber.com/.

For more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit http://usfsm.edu/.

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