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News Article | April 17, 2017

On April 18 and 19, the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College will gather top policymakers, economists, and analysts at the 26th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the U.S. and World Economies to discuss, among many issues, the implications of the new administration’s “America First” policies, focusing on the outlook for trade, taxation, fiscal, and financial regulation measures to generate domestic investments capable of moving the growth rate beyond the “new normal” established in the aftermath of the Great Recession, without jeopardizing financial stability. The conference, “‘America First’ and Financial Stability,” is being organized by the Levy Institute and will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, April 18–19, at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Participants include Esther L. George, president and chief executive officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Eric S. Rosengren, president and chief executive officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Thomas M. Hoenig, vice chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Peter Praet, chief economist and executive board member, European Central Bank; Michael E. Feroli, chief U.S. economist, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Arturo O’Connell, formerly, member of the board of governors, Central Bank of Argentina; Lakshman Achuthan, cofounder and chief operations officer, Economic Cycle Research Institute; Rana Foroohar, global business columnist, Financial Times, and global economic analyst, CNN; Michael S. Derby, special writer, The Wall Street Journal; Christian Plumb, Latin America business editor, Reuters; and Yalman Onaran, senior writer, Bloomberg News. The 2017 Minsky Conference will assess, among other issues, the impact of different financing schemes on both infrastructure investment and the return of central bank monetary policies to more neutral interest rates. Since these new policy proposals will have a global impact, the conference will focus on their implication for the performance of European and Latin American economies. The conference will include presentations by Jan Kregel, director of research, Levy Institute; Robert J. Barbera, codirector, Center for Financial Economics, The Johns Hopkins University; Fernando J. Cardim de Carvalho, senior scholar, Levy Institute, and emeritus professor of economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Scott Fullwiler, professor of economics, University of Missouri–Kansas City; Arturo Huerta González, professor of economics, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Stephanie A. Kelton, research associate, Levy Institute, and professor of economics, University of Missouri–Kansas City; Paolo Savona, formerly, Italian minister of industry and president, Banco di Roma and the Fondo Interbancario di Tutela dei Depositi; Edwin M. Truman, nonresident senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Michalis Nikiforos, research scholar, Levy Institute; and L. Randall Wray, senior scholar, Levy Institute, and professor of economics, Bard College. The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, founded in 1986 through the generous support of the late Bard College trustee Leon Levy, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. The Institute is independent of any political or other affiliation, and encourages diversity of opinion in the examination of economic policy issues while striving to transform ideological arguments into informed debate. Press registrations should be made by calling Mark Primoff at 845-758-7412 or by sending an e-mail to primoff(at)

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., April 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The 10th Annual Payments Summit, a Secure Technology Alliance event, took place last week with sessions featuring payments solutions, payments technology and transportation payments, and explored hot topics impacting the payments market today and in the future. The Payments Summit, until recently, has been associated with the Smart Card Alliance. The organization recently announced it has expanded its mission to move beyond smart cards, and re-branded the organization as the Secure Technology Alliance. The event was co-located for the second year with the International Card Manufacturers Association’s 27th annual EXPO in Orlando, Florida. The overarching theme of the 2017 conference was around embracing the wave of change rushing throughout payments. The main takeaway: all of the different sectors of the payments industry are crafting new visions for the future of payments and diving in to make those visions a reality. Marc Keller, head of FI strategy and partnerships for Samsung Pay, drove this point home in his first-day keynote, sharing his perspective on how innovative new technologies can become mainstream in payments. The key drivers, according to Keller, are convenience, value and usability. “You need to provide clear value to the merchant and the consumer, or [innovations] won’t be adopted,” Keller said. Senior Vice President of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships for Visa, Shiv Singh, shared a similar vision, citing the need for invisible transactions, frictionless consumer experience and equal support for brand awareness, product development and innovation as keys to success. In addition to this common theme of mobile and digital commerce, sessions across all three tracks touched on some of the hottest topics in the industry, including EMV chip technology, card-not-present (CNP) fraud, contactless and mobile payments, the importance of the consumer payments experience, and emerging transit payments innovations. Below are some of the highlights from the sessions. EMV Chip Migration Is Progressing, with Work to Do The migration to EMV chip technology in the U.S. is making continued progress. Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager at The Strawhecker Group, reported new data at the event that 52 percent of merchants today are enabled to accept chip payments. George Peabody, partner at Glenbrook Partners, also shared an update, stating that 81 percent of credit cards, 46 percent of debit cards, and 63 percent of all cards in the market are chip cards. Peabody predicted that by 2020, 90 percent of transactions would be chip-on-chip (transactions using a chip card at a chip-enabled terminal). In a discussion on the chip migration journey in the U.S., an all-star panel of U.S. Payments Forum members representing the issuer, acquirer, merchant acquiring, card services and terminal vendor groups reflected on technical, business and regulatory challenges they overcame since the rollout began, and the support they are providing to the remaining financial institutions, merchants, and software providers with their chip adoption. A few of the Forum’s ongoing priorities around the chip migration include enablement at the ATM and fuel pumps, small merchant implementations, and pay-at-the-table acceptance experiences. Understanding and Mitigating Online Fraud With online fraud a global concern, many sessions focused on causes and ways to mitigate this type of fraud in the U.S. To better understand the rise of CNP fraud in the U.S., Susan Pandy, director of payment strategies at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said that, while many do, it isn’t accurate to place all of the blame on the chip migration. She also pointed to a number of other factors, such as the rapid growth in e- and m-commerce transaction volume and dollar amount as significant contributing factors. Christopher Justice, CEO of CenPOS, looked to learn from experiences in other countries such as Canada, where he said CNP fraud rose 233 percent within five years of the country’s chip migration. Some of the tools and methods to mitigate CNP fraud discussed by speakers throughout the event included tokenization, biometrics, risk-based authentication and multi-factor authentication. Frictionless Transaction Experience in Mobile and Contactless Payments Melissa Fox, senior manager of payments strategy and innovation at First Annapolis, shared research based on a study of 1,514 U.S. consumers that shows mobile payments are on an upward trajectory, with adoption up to 75 percent in January 2017 from 40 percent in May 2015. She also noted that frequency of use was increasing, with one in three Apple Pay users using it weekly or daily. Additionally, 36 percent of merchants are equipped with a contactless-capable terminal, and of those, 28 percent have activated them, according to Strawhecker’s Drieling. Transparent transactions and a frictionless consumer experience are two key factors identified by Deborah Baxley, partner at PayGility Advisors, that are needed to move payments innovations like contactless payments forward. In the case of mobile payments, Marianne Johnson, senior vice president of Network and Security Solutions Products and Innovation for First Data, said there has to be a strongly apparent value for both the merchant to be willing to accept the mobile payment, and for the consumer to be willing to use it. Most experts agreed that merchant acceptance is critical for adoption success, with First Annapolis’s Fox noting that mobile and contactless technologies create a customer experience advantage for transaction speed. Philip Andreae, vice president of field marketing of Oberthur Technologies, came to a similar conclusion through reviewing how the rest of the world moved to contactless payments after migrating to chip technology. Andreae predicted that the U.S. would follow suit with transit as the driver. Speakers concluded that there’s still work to be done within the industry to overcome the barriers of adoption, but Fox believes “changes in the payments industry take time to take hold,” and says, “the mobile payment industry is poised for growth.” Payments: The Key to Seamless Transit In a keynote roundtable session, speakers outlined a vision for a seamless, easy and convenient experience for riders, and said making this a reality requires an unobtrusive payments experience. “Transportation providers are trying to offer an easy, convenient experience for their customers,” said Mike Dinning, director of multimodal programs and partnerships for the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. “But they’re challenged with linking together all of these services, and ideally the payments for these services, to really make the experience easy.” While the speakers acknowledged there is work ahead, they see multimodal payments convergence, or the integration of payment services for any type of transportation, as the solution to common problems like traffic congestion, limited parking and unsafe walking or biking environments. As a start, Dinning pointed to a recent Secure Technology Alliance white paper that explores real-world implementations of this model in practice today that can provide a foundation for transit agencies considering support for these new models. With so much change and innovation impacting the payments industry, the Payments Summit has become the event payments stakeholders look forward to every year because it brings together like-minded individuals looking to find new ways to overcome challenges impacting the adoption, security and usability of emerging and developing payments technologies. For continuing updates on the Secure Technology Alliance, visit, follow @SecureTechOrg on Twitter. About the Secure Technology Alliance The Secure Technology Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption and widespread application of secure solutions, including smart cards, embedded chip technology, and related hardware and software across a variety of markets including authentication, commerce and Internet of Things (IoT). The Secure Technology Alliance, formerly known as the Smart Card Alliance, invests heavily in education on the appropriate uses of secure technologies to enable privacy and data protection. The Secure Technology Alliance delivers on its mission through training, research, publications, industry outreach and open forums for end users and industry stakeholders in payments, mobile, healthcare, identity and access, transportation, and the IoT in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information, please visit

News Article | April 21, 2017

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), will host its Cyber: Prepare, Prevent, Mitigate, Restore℠ symposium series in Boston today, and will be joined by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and The New England Council. Public- and private-sector professionals will share insights on cyber risks and tips to help small and midsize organizations prepare for and respond to a cyber incident. The keynote address will be delivered by Don Anderson, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “Cybersecurity is now the single largest international threat,” Anderson said. “Small- and medium-sized businesses and financial institutions must understand their vulnerabilities, and how to mitigate potentially malicious risks.” Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers, will facilitate the event at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “Small and midsize organizations are often considered easy targets because many of them do not have strong cybersecurity procedures in place,” said Woodward. “This series convenes experts in data encryption, anti-phishing techniques and other cybersecurity tools to help entrepreneurs and public leaders protect their private data.” Woodward will moderate a discussion, “Tackling Evolving Cyber Threats,” and will be joined by the following panelists: The Travelers Institute has held its Cyber: Prepare, Prevent, Mitigate, Restore symposium across the U.S. since launching the educational series in 2016. Additional events will take place in the U.S. and Canada in the coming months. About the Travelers Institute The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit

Feng X.,Shanghai University | Feng X.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Feng X.,Boston University | Pritsker M.,Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
International Journal of Modern Physics C | Year: 2014

While a more integrated central counterparty (CCP) network via interoperability will provide users more cost efficient clearing and settlement services, it also increases the default transmission through the system. Using epidemic spreading model, it is found that a vertically interoperated CCP network is more robust compared with a horizontally interoperated one when certain condition is satisfied. Variation of the different transmission rates from both internal and external sources leads to different equilibrium. The safe range which is free from the crisis explosion state is identified and can be reached with certain policy coordination among nations. © 2014 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Feng X.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Hu H.,East China University of Science and Technology | Pritsker M.,Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
International Journal of Modern Physics C | Year: 2013

To control counterparty risk, financial regulations such as the Dodd Frank Act are increasingly requiring standardized derivatives trades to be cleared by central counterparties (CCPs). It is anticipated that in the near-term future, CCPs across the world will be linked through interoperability agreements that facilitate risk-sharing but also serve as a conduit for transmitting shocks. This paper theoretically studies a network with CCPs that are linked through interoperability arrangements, and studies the properties of the network that contribute to cascading failures. The magnitude of the cascading is theoretically related to the strength of network linkages, the size of the network, the logistic mapping coefficient, a stochastic effect and CCP's defense lines. Simulations indicate that larger network effects increase systemic risk from cascading failures. The size of the network N raises the threshold value of shock sizes that are required to generate cascades. Hence, the larger the network, the more robust it will be. © 2014 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Arcaya M.,Harvard University | Glymour M.M.,University of California at San Francisco | Chakrabarti P.,Federal Reserve Bank of Boston | Christakis N.A.,Yale University | And 2 more authors.
Circulation | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND - : No studies have examined the effects of local foreclosure activity on neighbors' blood pressure, despite the fact that spillover effects of nearby foreclosures include many known risk factors for increased blood pressure. We assessed the extent to which living near foreclosed properties is associated with subsequent systolic blood pressure (SBP) measurements. METHODS AND RESULTS - : We used 6590 geocoded observations collected from 1740 participants in the Framingham Offspring Cohort across 5 waves (1987-2008) of the Framingham Heart Study to create a longitudinal record of exposure to nearby foreclosure activity. We distinguished between real estate-owned foreclosures, which typically sit vacant, and foreclosures purchased by third-party buyers, which are generally put into productive use. Counts of lender-owned foreclosed properties within 100 m of participants' homes were used to predict measured SBP and odds of being hypertensive. We assessed whether self-reported alcoholic drinks per week and measured body mass index helped to explain the relationship between foreclosure activity and SBP. Each additional real estate-owned foreclosure located within 100 m of a participant's home was associated with an increase in SBP of 1.71 mm Hg (P=0.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-3.24) after adjustment for individual- and area-level confounders but not with odds of hypertension. The presence of foreclosures purchased by third-party buyers was not associated with SBP or with hypertension. Body mass index and alcohol consumption attenuated the effect of living near real estate-owned foreclosures on SBP in fully adjusted models. CONCLUSIONS - : Real estate-owned foreclosed properties may put nearby neighbors at risk for increased SBP, with higher alcohol consumption and body mass index partially mediating this relationship. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

Ryan R.W.,Federal Reserve Bank of Boston | Holland D.S.,Gulf of Maine Research Institute | Holland D.S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Herrera G.E.,Bowdoin College
Marine Resource Economics | Year: 2010

Despite a growing call for ecosystem-based fishery management, most fisheries are managed independently with little attention paid to linkages such as competition for resources and predator-prey relationships. As the predator-prey modeling literature has shown, such linkages can substantially alter the outcomes of management strategies from those predicted by models naïve to these linkages. In this article, we explore the implications of a linkage between fisheries due to an artificial predator-prey relationship; the use of one harvested species as an input to the harvest technology in another primary fisheiy whose biological productivity is also positively affected by bait consumption. These anthropogenic, technological, and biological linkages between the fisheries alter both the open-access and rent-maximizing equilibria of the primary fishery. Furthermore, shifts in economic, technological, or biological parameters of either fishery can have significantly different impacts on the bioeconomic equilibria than those predicted by a traditional single-species model. Copyright © 2010 MRE Foundation, Inc.

Burke M.A.,Federal Reserve Bank of Boston | Heiland F.W.,York College | Heiland F.W.,Florida State University | Nadler C.M.,Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Obesity | Year: 2010

In this article, we describe differences in the self-perception of weight status in the United States between the two most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) periods (1988-1994 and 1999-2004), and test the hypothesis that secular increases in adult mean BMI, adult obesity, and childhood obesity contributed to changes over time in weight perceptions. We find that the probability of self-classifying as overweight is significantly lower on average in the more recent survey, for both women and men, controlling for objective weight status and other factors. Among women, the decline in the tendency to self-classify as overweight is concentrated in the 17-35 age range, and is more pronounced among women with normal BMI than those with overweight BMI. Among men, the shift away from feeling overweight is roughly equal across age groups. Overweight men exhibit a sharper decline in feeling overweight than normal weight men. Despite the declines in feeling overweight between surveys, weight misperception did not increase significantly for men and decreased by a sizable margin among women. We interpret the findings as evidence of a generational shift in social norms related to body weight. As a result, people may be less likely to desire weight loss than previously, limiting the effectiveness of public health campaigns aimed at weight reduction. On the other hand, there may be health benefits associated with improved body image. © 2010 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO).

News Article | November 15, 2016

According to a recent survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling, almost 58 percent of consumers have maxed out on a credit card at least once. Of the respondents who have maxed out their credit card, 61 percent have maxed out on multiple credit cards. Of all respondents, 55 percent of consumers have 3 or more credit cards, and nearly 30 percent have more than 4 credit cards. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the average credit card holder in 2013 had 2.7 general purpose cards and 1.4 branded cards. “Many consumers are probably not aware of the bad credit card habits that could lead to increased debt and financial problems,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “Bad credit habits such as paying late, maxing out cards, balance transfers and carrying a balance can all lead to financial distress in the short and long-term. Maxing out a credit card can be particularly problematic for consumers and can result in higher minimum payments, making balances harder to repay and lowering credit scores.” According to the survey, nearly 80 percent of respondents say they do not use their credit cards for cash advances. Fifty-four percent of respondents do not use balance transfers and about 16 percent of those consumers do not know what a balance transfer is. Thirty-seven percent of respondents who already have at least one credit card would sign up for retail cards at their favorite store, according to the survey. However, 44 percent say they would never sign up for a store card. Of those respondents, 56 percent say they would skim through or try to understand the fine print. On the flip side, 29 percent of consumers admit they wouldn’t read the fine print at all. Fifty-three percent of the respondents with credit cards are between the age of 25 and 45. The online poll of 107 budget conscious consumers was conducted by American Consumer Credit Counseling on the organization’s website, You can view an infographic illustrating the poll results here: ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC: About American Consumer Credit Counseling American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt counseling, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education. Each month, ACCC invites consumers to participate in a poll focused on personal finance issues. The results are conveyed in the form of infographics that act as tools to educate the community on everyday consumer debt issues and problems. By learning more about financial management topics such as credit and debt management, consumers are empowered to make the best possible financial decisions to reach debt relief. As one of the nation’s leading providers of personal finance education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help determine the best possible debt solutions for them. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). To participate in this month’s poll, visit and for more financial management resources visit

News Article | February 28, 2017

Scientists and engineers must communicate with colleagues, public and governmental agencies, the business community, and the public. They often lack training for this task, and find it challenging. Communicating Science: a practical guide for engineers and physical scientists fills this gap, and helps scientists and engineers present their work effectively and efficiently. Communicating Science is a textbook and reference on scientific writing oriented primarily at researchers in the physical sciences and engineering. Written from the perspective of an experienced researcher, author, and editor, it emphasizes the connection between good scientific thinking, good organization, and good writing. This book draws on the authors' collective experience teaching both native and non-native English writers. The anchor chapter of this text provides guidance on writing research reports, including theses, journal papers, and internal reports. The research report is the most important writing task for graduate students and early stage researchers. Communicating Science explains the structural elements of a research report and provides extensive examples for constructing key sentences. Chapters on further forms of communication among scientific colleagues--including peer reviews, lectures, posters, and research proposals--present analogies relative to a research report and provide additional examples. Researchers also need to communicate with businesses, governments, and the public, often with the aid of specialists such as business analysts, patent attorneys and publicists. Additional chapters introduce the researcher to business plans, patents, and the popular media, with the aim of facilitating efficient collaboration with these specialists. The book also includes a chapter on preparing curricula vitae and job hunting for early stage researchers. Finally, an extensive chapter, "Writing Well", offers advice on writing strategies and guidance on scientific English usage for the benefit of both native English scientific writers and those whose first language is not English. Communicating Science is the book for graduate students to read before they write their thesis or first journal paper, and can be purchased from Amazon, major academic booksellers, or directly from the World Scientific Publishing. This book retails for US$68 / £56 (hardback) and US$32 / £27 (paperback) at major bookstores. To know more about the book, or to request for an inspection copy, visit Raymond L. Boxman received his SB, SM and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT, USA. His research specialty is plasma engineering and he has extensively investigated the vacuum arc for thin film deposition and submerged discharges for nano-particle generation and water treatment. After two years at the General Electric Company in Philadelphia, USA, Ray researched and taught in the Faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University, Israel, for 40 years. Ray was a department head and vice dean at Tel Aviv University. For 16 years, he taught a course required for all engineering PhD students on Technical Writing in English. Ray has presented 490 scientific papers at conferences or in journals, edited the Handbook of Vacuum Arc Science and Technology, and has 11 patents. He chaired several international conferences, and served on the editorial board of several plasma journals. He founded the Israel Plasma Science and Technology Association and Clear Wave Ltd. Ray is a Fellow of IEEE and a recipient of the Joffee Foundation Award and the Walter Dyke Award. Edith Boxman received a BA in Economics and English Literature from Tufts University, USA, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA. She worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv, Israel. Her work and volunteer activities have included extensive translating and editing. Ray and Edith together present short courses, tutorials, and workshops on scientific writing. World Scientific Publishing is a leading independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research, professional and educational communities. The company publishes about 600 books annually and about 130 journals in various fields. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organizations like the Nobel Foundation, US National Academies Press, as well as its subsidiary, the Imperial College Press, amongst others, to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit http://www. . For more information, contact Amanda Yun at

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