2015 Annual Report

President’s Letter

What We’ve Learned…and why it matters

Annual reports are often dense, tedious documents that capture a moment in time. They report on institutional progress and financials. And while we are proud to say that the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Bank) remitted $13.6 billion to the U.S. Treasury and accomplished much in 2015, we aren’t following the typical annual report approach. We will highlight our successes, but also will share what we’ve learned along the way and why it matters.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, we continue to evolve and reflect on what we’ve learned and how can we apply these insights to our work in fulfillment of our public mission.

The series of videos and podcasts in this annual report reveals the way we view and approach our work. The faces and voices featured represent who we are as San Francisco Fed employees—curious, inquisitive people who are committed to learning and to public service. 2015 marked a milestone in our path back from the Great Recession, and the report reflects our efforts to create a growing, sustainable economy for everyone. I am proud to work with an extraordinary team that demonstrates their commitment to public service each and every day.

A Year of Accomplishment

In 2015, our Bank supervisory staff continued to implement Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act programs for large and regional banking organizations. Staff completed the second round of stress test reviews for firms with $10-$50 billion in assets. This significant effort involved aligning supervisory plans with new regulations and guidance.

Economic Research staff provided essential research and support for my role as a monetary policymaker. Statistics staff improved the technology platform that ensures the security and integrity of data and streamlines how the Fed monitors the balances banks are required to keep in accounts with us. These important efforts support the execution of monetary policy.

The Cash Product Office and Information and Technology Services functions completed development of a new inventory management and workflow processing system for cash operations across the Federal Reserve System. The Cash Product Office also implemented new cash processing concepts and made technical enhancements to machine sensors, resulting in greater security, automation, and efficiency to the cash supply chain.

The San Francisco Fed’s cash operations teams in each of our offices met or exceeded all cost and efficiency targets and continued to serve as a source of talent for the Cash Product Office.

Leveraging the Twelfth District’s technology and innovation centers, Information and Technology Services continued to be a key developer of software applications for the Federal Reserve System and leader in the use of agile software development.

Our Community Development team continued to work with a wide range of organizations to create economic opportunity for lower-income Americans. Staff supported initiatives to foster small business development, improve the financial stability of lower-income households, and connect best practices and emerging ideas with organizations best positioned to make meaningful change in our communities.

A Legacy of Insightful Governance

Our Bank is fortunate to be guided by the insights of our boards of directors and advisory councils whose members represent a breadth of industries and organizations across our vast District. I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to them for their invaluable service. Their knowledge of economic and financial conditions throughout our nine western states provides essential input to the formulation of monetary policy.

I want to express my special thanks and appreciation to the directors and advisory council members who concluded their terms of service in 2015:

  • Los Angeles Branch Board: Gina Marie Lindsey, retired executive director, Los Angeles World Airports, Los Angeles, California; and John C. Molina, chief financial officer, Molina Healthcare, Inc., Long Beach, California.
  • Salt Lake City Branch Board: Bradley J. Wiskirchen, chief executive officer, Keynetics Inc., Boise, Idaho, who served as chair for two years.
  • Seattle Branch Board: Mary O. McWilliams, retired executive director, Washington Health Alliance, Seattle, Washington, who served as chair of the Seattle Branch Board for two years.
  • Twelfth District Economic Advisory Council: Richard C. Blum, chairman and chief executive officer, Blum Capital Partners, San Francisco, California; and Thomas E. Vice, president, Aerospace Systems, Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach, California.
  • Twelfth District Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council: Melanie J. Dressel, president and chief executive officer, Columbia Bank, Tacoma, Washington; Malcolm F. Hotchkiss, chief executive officer, United Business Bank, Oakland, California; and Robert A. Stuart, president and chief executive officer, OnPoint Community Credit Union, Portland, Oregon.

I would like to welcome directors and advisory council members who began their terms of service in 2016:

  • Los Angeles Branch Board: Luis Faura, president and chief executive officer, C&F Foods, Inc., City of Industry, California; and Anita V. Pramoda, chief executive officer, Owned Outcomes, Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Salt Lake City Branch Board: Arthur F. (Skip) Oppenheimer, chairman and chief executive officer, Oppenheimer Companies, Inc., Boise, Idaho.
  • Seattle Branch Board: West Mathison, president, Stemilt Growers LLC, Wenatchee, Washington; and Sophie Minich, president and chief executive officer, Cook Inlet Region, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Twelfth District Economic Advisory Council: Rosemary Turner, president, UPS Northern California District, Oakland, California; and Theodore (Ted) F. Craver, Jr., chairman, president, and chief executive officer, Edison International, Rosemead, California.
  • Twelfth District Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council: Eugene L. Pelham, president and chief executive officer, Rogue Credit Union, Medford, Oregon; H.R. (Hal) Russell, president and chief executive officer, Commencement Bank, Tacoma, Washington; and Daniel L. Skaff, president and co-chief executive officer, Beneficial State Bank, Oakland, California.
John C. Williams' Signature

Table of Contents

An Overview of Our 2015 Annual Report
President Williams and First Vice President Gould share our 2015 highlights and preview what we’ve learned.

The Future of Cash
Reserve Banks process billions of notes annually and innovating cash processing technologies is essential for productivity.

The Fragility of Finances
Most American households don’t have enough savings to pay for a sudden $400 expense.

Creative Placemaking
Engaging local artists and other culturally significant voices enhances community revitalization efforts.

Health and Prosperity
Improving health in lower-income households can lead to better economic outcomes.

China in the Global Economy
The effect of the slowdown of China’s economy on its non-U.S. trading partners could affect the U.S.

Redefining the Labor Market
Changes in demographics, and in employer and worker needs, play roles in redefining the labor market.

Transforming Financial Services
The Fed is studying innovation in fintech, which is changing the way people obtain financial services and interact with banks.

Regional Influences on Monetary Policy
The Fed connects with businesses and communities at a local level and brings this information to policy discussions in Washington D.C.

Technology for Today’s Fed
Highly secure, reliable, custom software solutions enable the Fed to execute monetary policy decisions.

Becoming a Destination Employer
The SF Fed is rapidly evolving and adapting to the preferences of a new generation of workers.

The Fed’s Balance Sheet
Four and a half trillion dollars of assets on the Fed’s balance sheet are stimulating the U.S. economy.


Boards of Directors (pdf, 393 kb)

Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (pdf, 124 kb)

Economic Advisory Council (pdf, 166 kb)


2015 Financial Statements (pdf, 549 kb)

Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) Annual Report to Congress

Subscribe to our Annual Report mailing list