SF Fed Blog

Creating an On-Ramp for Financial Inclusion

Friday, July 16, 2021

In Financial Inclusion & Beyond, a new podcast series and its related virtual event, the SF Fed Fintech team explores lessons from around the world in using technology and public policy to build more inclusive financial systems and drive financial health. Read more

Essay Contest: Unlocking Our Potential

Monday, June 28, 2021

Illustration of diverse people

How do gender and racial inequities affect the economy? The “Unlocking Our Potential” essay contest invites doctoral students to share their insights and analysis for a chance to win an internship and cash prize. Read more

What’s Behind the Recent Rise in Core Inflation?

Friday, June 18, 2021

Red and green arrows on black abstract background represent rising and falling prices

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the economy last spring, inflation fell dramatically. One year later, the opposite is occurring with inflation surpassing 3%. Health care and used cars are the main drivers for the recent spike in prices and their increases are expected to be short-lived. Read more

Moving the Needle on Board Diversity

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Diverse group of individuals in boxes on a screen

Senior VP of Public Engagement Robin Rockwood explores the importance of diversity and sets a new goal for representation in the board room. She also details how the Bank’s dedication to inclusion and equity in the community improves the quality of deliberation and decision-making. Read more

Privacy Enhancing Technologies: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The debate over data collection and use in the United States continues amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic recovery. How can we create products and services that are effective while also minimizing data-related risks such as breach and misuse? Fintech Policy Advisor Kaitlin Asrow discusses the potential and challenges of PETs. Read more

How Does Wildfire Risk Affect the Economy?

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Wildfires affect more than just empty forests and fields. Homes, businesses, and lives can all be damaged by them. And the cost of providing relief and preventing wildfires has long-term financial ramifications. It’s necessary to understand wildfire risk to see how climate change will affect the future of the economy. Our one-minute animated Economic Letter explains. Read more

Weighing the Role of Supply Bottlenecks in Core PCE Inflation

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Container ship passing beneath a suspension bridge

Heightened demand and associated supply bottlenecks related to business disruptions during the pandemic have pushed up prices for some products. Goods prices have been the most directly affected, but they represent a smaller share of total U.S. consumer spending than services, mitigating the overall inflation risk. Read more

Mothers in a Pandemic Labor Market

Thursday, May 6, 2021

COVID-19 disrupted all aspects of life, leading to steep declines in labor force participation across genders, races, and ethnic groups. Mothers experienced sharper and longer-lasting declines than fathers, and participation rates for Black mothers and Hispanic mothers were among the most affected. Read more

$3 Trillion a Year and Growing: Potential Economic Gains from Equity

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Diverse group of people

Systemic inequities that limit the full potential of women and people of color bear real economic costs for every American. In a new SF Fed working paper coauthored with President Mary C. Daly, we find that labor market disparities by gender and race cost the U.S. $2.6 trillion in foregone GDP in 2019, and we estimate that these annual costs will continue to grow. Read more

Celebrating Nowruz a la COVID-19

Friday, April 2, 2021

Colored eggs, wheat springs, and sweet pastries

The ancient holiday of Nowruz begins at the stroke of the vernal equinox, marking the beginning of spring. The thirteen-day festival celebrates the rebirth of nature and includes renewing relationships with family and friends and lots of good food. Assistant Manager, Business Operations Mana Shahvaran-Jam shares how her family prepared for this year’s Nowruz, along with her recipe for nan-e nokhodchi (chickpea cookies). Read more

For Consumers in This Time of Pandemic, Cash Remains a Comfort

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Person putting dollar notes into a wallet

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, many consumers have stockpiled cash along with hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and toilet paper. Cash remains popular with consumers, and many say they are holding onto more cash savings at home than before the pandemic began. Read more

The Highs (and Lows) of COVID-era Real Estate

Friday, February 26, 2021

COVID-19 has impacted residential and commercial estate in vastly different ways. See how historically low-interest rates have factored into home sales and vacancy rates across the Twelfth District. Read more

SF Fed Among Top Places to Work for LGBTQ Employees

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Human Rights Campaign has recognized the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco as one of the best workplaces for LGBTQ employees. We’re proud to have earned a top score on the Corporate Equality Index for four years running. Read more

SF Fed Asks, “How Much Is Inequity Costing Us?”

Thursday, February 4, 2021

SF Fed researchers found significant economic losses associated with gender and racial disparities in education and the labor market. In “The Economic Gains from Equity,” they share the potential economic growth that come with gender and racial equity. Read more

Confronting Inequity: A Framework for Change

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The San Francisco Fed is taking concrete and measurable actions to increase racial equity in our organization and communities. Read about our new Framework for Change to see how we are holding ourselves accountable. Read more

SF Fed Launches Tool to Forecast COVID-19 Infections by County

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Using the latest data on social distancing behavior, weather, vaccinations, and confirmed COVID-19 cases per capita, our Economic Research team’s new data page forecasts changes in COVID-19 infection rates across U.S. counties. Economist Dan Wilson explains how this new tool uses recent statistics to help project future infection growth. Read more

Four Lessons for the Future of Central Banking

Thursday, January 14, 2021

silhouettes of business people with skyline of city buildings

SF Fed fintech policy advisor Kaitlin Asrow reflects on the 2020 Central Bank of the Future Conference and lessons from the past year, sharing takeaways that may be helpful as we strive for a more inclusive and equitable future. Read more

Why We Should All Care About the Fate of Child Care

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Child care teacher working on puzzles with a group of students

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the child care industry was undervalued. Now, child care centers are in danger of being closed for good. What can we do to support the child care market, which is essential for parents to participate in the workforce? Read more

What’s the Fate of America’s Cities?

Friday, December 4, 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic has again called into question the health and stability of our urban areas, as many people realize that they don’t need to live in cities to work and do business. President Daly explored the future of cities with a few experts, and here’s what we learned. Read more

How Bad Is the U.S. 2020 Fire Season?

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The U.S. 2020 fire season has been intense so far, especially in California and Oregon. Assessing the spread of wildfires through mid-November shows it is comparable to the two most damaging fire seasons in recent memory. However, learning the cost of actual damages will take time. Read more

Will COVID-19 Impact Climate Change?

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Buildings with a background of mountains, trees, and a blue sky with a few clouds

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down economic activity, leading to lower carbon dioxide emissions. However, unless energy efficiency improves substantially, the overall impact of lower CO2 emissions on climate change will likely be small. Our one-minute animated Economic Letter explains. Read more

Happy Diwali!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Diwali diya oil lamp and rangoli

As we’ve continued to adjust to this year’s new environment, celebrations throughout 2020 have pivoted. Through socially distanced or virtual events, people have found ways to continue honoring cultural traditions and celebrating their heritage while following safety guidelines. Read more

6 Tips to Make the Most of Your Virtual Internship at the SF Fed

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

An internship is your opportunity to learn and practice new skills, experience a company’s culture, meet mentors, make friends, and maybe even land your first job. Former SF Fed GOLD (Growing Opportunity for Leadership and Diversity) interns and their managers share their recommendations for how you can succeed in the virtual internship environment. Read more

Help Shape the Future of the Community Reinvestment Act

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System recently issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on how we can modernize the regulations that implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). To ensure that the final proposal for modernizing the CRA meets community needs, the Board is seeking public comment. It’s time to make your voice heard. Read more

SF Fed Recognized as Top 10 Company for Working Mothers

Monday, October 26, 2020

Working mothers and fathers at SF Fed headquarters in 2018

For the third year, Working Mother recognizes the San Francisco Fed on its annual list of 100 Best Companies for working parents. Marica Chen and Stephanie Salazar, co-chairs of the SF Fed’s Parents Employee Resource Group, share why we’re especially proud to say that we’ve made the top 10 for working mothers this year.

Read more

Paycheck Protection Program Affects Banking Trends in Q2

Friday, October 16, 2020

balance sheet, pen, and calculator

The Paycheck Protection Program drove a record level of loan, deposit, and asset growth for Twelfth District banks in Q2. This influenced the composition of banks’ balance sheets on both sides of the ledger and significantly altered key performance metrics. Read more

Support Small Business Owners by Lifting their Voices

Thursday, October 15, 2020

One way to support small businesses is to ensure their voices and experiences are included in this year’s Small Business Credit Survey data. Open now through October 31, the survey’s goal is to uncover the current challenges small business owners face accessing credit. Read more

Assessing the Accuracy of China’s Economic Rebound from COVID-19

Thursday, September 24, 2020

People wearing face masks while shopping in downtown Chengdu, China

While China’s economy plunged following the outbreak of COVID-19, official data report that it has rebounded sharply. The San Francisco Fed’s China Cyclical Activity Tracker confirms this, indicating modestly higher activity than China’s official data for the second quarter of 2020. Read more

As Rents Rise, Nonprofits Feel the Squeeze

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Empty streets in LA due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place

Nonprofits in Los Angeles have faced rising real estate costs in recent years. Now, with the economic downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic, they face revenue shortages. Nonprofits need assistance to secure affordable operating space in the communities they serve. Read more

The New Future of Work

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Join San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global), Erica Brescia (GitHub), and Nick Bloom (Stanford; National Bureau of Economic Research) for a one-hour conversation on August 20. Read more

Fintech Innovation Office Hours

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Join us for a virtual fireside chat about digital innovation in financial technology with special guest, Kavita Jain, deputy associate director at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Plus, find out how to request a timeslot during our Fintech Innovation Office Hours with the Board. Read more

Celebrating 50 Years of Pride

Monday, June 29, 2020

Chris Wong, co-chair of the SF Fed’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, reflects on the importance of being able to bring your whole self to work and what it means to celebrate Pride during shelter-in-place. Read more

Racial Equity Primer

Friday, June 12, 2020

How can the United States work toward economic opportunity for all? Building a better future—one that leaves no one behind—requires an intentional focus on inequities and injustices. Our primer provides a shared vocabulary and context for discussing racial equity and related issues, including COVID-19. Read more

Building a Better Future

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The San Francisco Fed stands united against racism, hate, and violence. We are dedicated to building an economy that works for everyone, and will keep using the tools in our reach—our policy, our community engagement, our culture, and our individual voices—to promote equality, inclusion, and accountability. Read more

Data Rights and Data Protection during COVID-19

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic brought extraordinary disruption in every aspect of our lives. Still, the private and public sectors can come together to create new systems that can make the United States more resilient. Read more

Mental Health during the Coronavirus

Friday, May 22, 2020

The sudden shutdown of our economic and social lives increases stress, financial insecurity, and other risks for poor mental health. A new research brief from our Community Development team looks at the stark implications for low-income communities and communities of color. Read more

Teacher Appreciation Week 2020

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

To the teachers: Thank you for showing extraordinary creativity and flexibility supporting your students every day, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. We appreciate all you do. Read more

WATCH NOW – 3D Public Servants: The Courage to Be Human

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Sticky note with ‘Be…’ in the center of other notes with words including: seen, human, curious, uncertain, loving, kind

SF Fed President Mary C. Daly shares her talk meant for SXSW 2020: “3D Public Servants: The Courage to Be Human.” In our current environment, the key message — that we all have to be willing to see, and be seen by, each other in three dimensions — is perhaps more important today than it’s ever been. Read more

SF Fed COVID-19 Resource Hub Available Now

Monday, April 6, 2020

We’ve launched an information hub to make it easier to find information about Fed actions and guidance in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), and related resources from the San Francisco Fed. Read more

Tips for Working from Home

Thursday, March 26, 2020

We know remote work during the coronavirus is different. With that in mind, here are a few tips we’re using to stay as organized and productive as possible. We hope you find them helpful. Read more

Happy Nowruz!

Monday, March 23, 2020

We know everything feels a bit different right now, and that includes how we celebrate our families’ cultural traditions. We asked some of our employees to share what they’re doing for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, so you can experience a bit of the holiday virtually. Read more

WATCH: President Daly’s Message on COVID‑19

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

As the coronavirus situation evolves, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is committed to being part of the solution. President Mary C. Daly shares how we’re supporting our employees, our communities, and the nation during this challenging time. Read more

What Brought the Fed to Phoenix?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Back in the 1990s, the Fed didn’t have a presence in Phoenix. Today we have a fully-automated cash processing center. Here’s the story. Read more

Is Job Automation Keeping Down Wages?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Although the labor market has been strong, the share of U.S. national income going to workers has dropped sharply compared with 20 years ago. Find out why with our quick video. Read more

The Finer Points of Cyclical and Acyclical Inflation

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

For some goods and services, prices change with economic growth while for others they don’t. Our research method makes the distinction to improve our understanding of inflation. Here’s what you need to know. Read more

Customer-Centered Banking for the Banks: Inside Our Portland Branch

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

From boutique donuts to blues festivals, craft beers to a thriving food cart culture, Portland has an eclectic vibe and a bit of something for everyone. In a downtown office overlooking the Willamette River and Hawthorne Bridge, you’ll find our Portland branch. Here’s what we do. Read more

Commemorating 100 Years in Los Angeles

Monday, January 13, 2020

Our Los Angeles branch opened January 2, 1920. Check out a few of our favorite highlights from the last century as we celebrate 100 years of serving our remarkably inclusive community. Read more

What Can Banking Conditions Tell Us about the Economy?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Every quarter, we look at the operating environment for banks in our District. The practice also helps shed light on issues affecting the performance of the Western U.S. economy. Here are some observations based on data from the third quarter of 2019. Read more

Pacific Exchange Best of 2019

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Which issues important to banking in Asia and the Pacific Rim caught our readers’ eyes in 2019? Let’s take a look at the five most popular Pacific Exchange Blog posts from the year. Read more

Economic Letter Countdown: Top 5 Topics of 2019

Thursday, December 26, 2019

With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, here’s a countdown of our own to close out 2019. Check out the five most popular FRBSF Economic Letter topics of the year, with research insights from San Francisco Fed economists. Read more

Celebrating First Generation College Students

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

College application season is here. If you’re the first in your family to go to college, you’re joining a special community. Here are a few words of support and encouragement from a few of our own first gen graduates to you. Read more

Is Information about Me, Mine?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Technology and businesses collect, move, and analyze vast amounts of personal info. What’s the role of consumers in the data ecosystem? Read more

Costs of Cashless

Monday, December 2, 2019

Payment innovations feel exhilarating and convenient, but they can leave some people without a way to make purchases. We decided to take a closer look at what’s happening. Read more

Rethinking Asia: 5 Trends in Finance and Economics

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The San Francisco Fed’s Country Analysis Unit recently wrapped the third season of the Pacific Exchanges podcast. Here are five of the most noteworthy trends in Asian finance and economics we explored in this season’s Rethinking Asia series. Read more

Mapping Student Loan Debt in the Bay Area

Friday, September 13, 2019

Which neighborhoods have the highest rates of student loan delinquency and default? Explore student loan borrowing and repayment in the San Francisco Bay Area with our new interactive maps. Read more

Impacts of Cashless Business on Financial Inclusion

Monday, August 19, 2019

Mobile Payment in Store

As retailers and restaurants experiment with going cash-free, a new paper from the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office explores the benefits to businesses while also cautioning that the practice could alienate over a quarter of U.S. consumers. Read more

Celebrating Pride 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019

Employees form Pride Banner of Love at SF Fed HQ on June 11, 2019

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is celebrating Pride Month, reaffirming our commitment to a welcoming, inclusive workplace. Read more

Challenges of Financing Equitable Community Development

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

People in Neighborhood Park Sketch

Revitalizing struggling communities takes money. But getting funds and resources where they are needed, and quickly, cannot always happen within today’s capital system. Could more flexibility be the key to driving real regional change? Read more

SF Fed Visiting Scholar Nakamura Named 2019 Clark Medalist

Monday, May 20, 2019

Emi Nakamura

The American Economic Association named Emi Nakamura the best young American economist for 2019. This John Bates Clark medalist contributes to the San Francisco Fed through her work as a visiting scholar in Economic Research. Photo provided by UC Berkeley. Read more

Did the Yield Curve Flip? Will the Economy Dip?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Treasuries Report

As the yield curve has continued to flatten, worries about recession risk have increased. However, according to conventional metrics, the current yield curve is not inverted and therefore does not predict a recession in the near future. Read more

Racial Equity Drives Health and Climate Outcomes

Thursday, January 31, 2019

African American Couple Outside Los Angeles Home

When the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) launched in March 2017, we set out to promote equitable regional development through a new perspective that equally prioritizes racial equity, health, and climate. Our midcourse check-in examines the effectiveness of that triple lens. Read more

Pacific Exchange Best of 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018

EUC Coins

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Pacific Exchange Blog covers issues important to banking in Asia and the Pacific Rim. Here’s a roundup of our five most popular posts of 2018. Read more

Focusing on Race in Community Development

Monday, November 26, 2018

Young Black Man in Focus

Many well-intentioned policies meant to lift communities of color have had the opposite effect, perpetuating disparities along racial lines. Could an explicit focus on race in community development help distribute opportunity more equitably? Read more

What Is Racial Equity?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Group of Tweens Outdoors

Find out how racial equity is different from racial equality, and why working towards a more equitable society helps improve outcomes for all people. Read more

Unlocking Hidden Genius in Oakland

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

African American Teenage Boy

San Francisco Bay Area tech companies are often criticized for lack of diversity. Here’s how one Oakland nonprofit is getting more young black men into the tech job pipeline. Read more

Revisiting Wage Growth

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Woman Holding Wallet With Money

The July jobs report once again brought great news on employment gains and less than exciting news on wage growth. Data through the second quarter of 2018 show that median weekly earnings of full time workers rose just 2% on an annual basis, well below what might be expected in such a robust labor market. So what is going on? Read more

Speaking Up for East Oakland

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

East Oakland Photovoice Breakout Session

A group of women is using photography to show the impact of neighborhood neglect on their daily lives, encouraging investment in and change for their low-income communities. Read more

What Is the Beige Book?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Beige Book Cover Logo Close Up

Eight times a year, two weeks before a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, you’ll find a new Beige Book linked from our website and social media accounts. What is it? What’s in it? Here’s what you need to know. Read more

Helping Banks Brace for Hurricane Season

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hurricane

Hurricane season was especially busy in 2017 with six major storms on record. While we can’t predict the severity of this year’s storms, we are prepared to meet increased cash demand in recovery zones if necessary. Here’s how. Read more

How Can Millennials Save More Money?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Millennial Office Workers

Many millennials fear that they aren’t saving—or aren’t saving enough—for retirement. Can gamification help the largest generation in the United States labor force level-up their financial savvy to achieve budget and savings goals? Read more

San Francisco Fed Celebrates Pride 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018

Banner of Love 2018

On June 7, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco employees gathered in front of SF Fed headquarters to form a Banner of Love, a human LGBT Pride banner. The yearly event, organized by the 12th District’s LGBT Employee Resource Group, gives LGBTQIA and allied employees the opportunity to come together in solidarity during Pride Month. Read more

Involuntary Part-Time Work: Yes, It’s Here to Stay

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

a help wanted storefront sign that reads: part-time weekend help needed.

Despite a tight labor market, an unusually large number of workers who want full-time positions are still stuck in part-time jobs. Rather than reflecting lingering effects from the past recession, this appears to be a permanent shift arising from changes in the types of jobs that are available. Read more

Can Gamers Shape the Future?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Virtual Reality Cityscape

Sci-fi movies and novels predict virtual reality and artificial intelligence will lead humanity to an inevitably dystopian future. But what if game design thinking, including principles used to create virtual worlds, was used for global-scale social good? Read more

Is Boomer Retirement Still Weighing Down U.S. Equity Markets?

Monday, March 5, 2018

Baby Boomer Retirees

The upcoming waves of baby boomer retirements could push down U.S. equity markets according to the strong historical relationship between the age distribution of the population and stock market performance. However, that relationship appeared to break down after 2011. Is the stock market due for a demographic-induced correction? Read more

The Rate of Return on Everything

Monday, February 5, 2018

Rate of Return on Housing

Over the past 150 years, the wealth of nations has grown faster than their economies. Which investments experienced the highest returns? The answer may surprise you. Read more

Do Tech Jobs Really Require a College Degree?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Education as a Career Path

Bachelor’s degree preferred: Is the common job listing prerequisite actually necessary for a career in the technology industry? Laurence Bradford, founder of the popular Learn to Code With Me blog and podcast, says it depends. Read more

Can Tech Jobs Lower Prison Recidivism Rates?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Kenyatta Leal

The Last Mile piloted its Code.7370 program at the San Quentin State Penitentiary in 2014. Now in four California prisons, it teaches computer coding skills to inmates, providing a framework for change and path to employment. Read more

College, Careers for At-risk SF Bay Area Teens

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

College Acceptance Letter

Life Learning Academy Charter High School sits on beautiful and serene Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. The public charter school is known for this idyllic setting, small student-teacher ratios, a rigorous academic program, and a reputation for putting at-risk Bay Area teens on paths to college and careers. Read more

The Good News on Wage Growth

Monday, August 14, 2017

Boardroom Meeting

The July jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics brought welcome news on wage growth: Median weekly earnings rose 4.2% on an annual basis, the fastest pace seen since 2007. The underlying story may be even better than the headline number suggests. Read more

Looking Back on the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bangkok Thailand

Twenty years ago this month, a financial crisis spread across Asia and threatened the economic trajectory of the entire region. Here’s a look back at the crisis and how it has shaped financial reform strategies. Read more

Solar Energy Powers SF Fed Operations in Phoenix

Monday, July 10, 2017

Solar panels on the roof of the San Francisco Fed's Phoenix Processing Center

Forecasts for Phoenix, AZ climbed to 120-degrees Fahrenheit recently, hot enough to ground smaller airplanes. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Phoenix Processing Center (PPC) is using some of that solar energy to keep temperatures cool in cash operations. Read more

Happy Independence Day

Friday, June 30, 2017

American Cash on $100 Federal Reserve Notes

Federal Reserve notes feature great people and moments from American history. Celebrate the 4th of July with this fun cash-themed tour of sights, from Independence Hall to the Lincoln Memorial. Read more

Celebrating Pride 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

LGBTQ Banner of Love 2017 SF Fed Headquarters

On June 21, hundreds of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco LGBTQIA and ally employees formed a human Banner of Love outside San Francisco Fed headquarters. Check out a few of our favorite SF Fed LGBT Pride Month photos. Read more

Have Damaged Cash? Here’s How to Exchange It

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mutilated Currency

It’s illegal to destroy United States Federal Reserve Notes, but sometimes accidents do happen. Luckily there are a couple convenient ways to trade your damaged cash for notes that are in better shape. Read more

5 Fintech Trends Shaping Finance in Asia

Friday, March 3, 2017

Shanghai Cityscape

While San Francisco Fed headquarters sits a few miles away from the world’s leading technology hub in Silicon Valley, many of the most innovative developments in financial technology (fintech) are happening across the Pacific. Here are five fintech trends shaping finance, banking, and banking regulation in Asia. Read more

What’s the Value of Cash in a Digital Payments Landscape?

Monday, February 27, 2017

When you’re out with friends and the check comes, do you reach out your wrist or for your wallet or phone? For younger consumers, the choice is often cash before a peer-to-peer payment app, according to Wendy Matheny, manager of market analysis with the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office (CPO). Read more

What’s Limiting Upward Economic Mobility?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Young man sitting on path

Work hard and you’ll achieve success and have a higher income than your parents. That’s the American dream. Yet thousands of struggling Americans are realizing that determination isn’t always enough, and it’s difficult to get ahead when you’re always behind. Here are five important things to know about economic mobility challenges holding people back. Read more

5 Fun Football Cash Facts

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Football

How much cash does it take to cover a football field? How many notes can the Fed process during a 30-second commercial? We have the answers to these questions and a few more to help you get warmed up for the big game. Read more

Top 5 Economic Letters of 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Which economic issues got people talking in 2016? From wages to a low natural real rate of interest, check out the most viewed and shared SF Fed Economic Letters published since our 2015 roundup. Read more

SF Fed’s Williams: Long-Run U.S. Economic Health a Global Issue

Friday, December 23, 2016

Global Currency

The expected normalization of interest rates reflects a healthy U.S. economy. But this is occurring in an environment of persistently low global interest rates. SF Fed President John C. Williams, in a recent interview with The New York Times, recognized that what happens abroad can influence the domestic outlook and monetary policy. Read more

‘Tis the Season for Cash

Friday, December 9, 2016

When it comes to consumer spending, there’s no time like the holidays. So, Federal Reserve Banks across the country are busy ensuring that commercial banks have a sufficient supply of cash to meet consumer demand during the biggest shopping time of year. Read more

SF Fed Pattern Library Is Now Public

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Mosaic Tile Pattern

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Pattern Library, a living style guide for our website’s user experience design, is available now on GitHub. Read more

Remembering Teresa M. Curran

Monday, November 14, 2016

It is with great sadness and heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of our friend and colleague, Executive Vice President Teresa Curran, who led our Financial Institution Supervision and Credit Division (FISC). Read more

The More Things Change, Cash Remains

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Image of cash, pen and diary

The Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office just released new preliminary findings from the 2015 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice. The study shows that while new payment options are emerging and gaining popularity, cash is still the most frequently used retail payment instrument. Read more

Cash Myths Busted

Friday, October 21, 2016

Money myths abound. How many do you believe? See if you can separate cash facts from fiction with a quick seven-question quiz from the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office. Read more

Raising the Speed Limit on the Slow Growth Economy

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

2016 Council for Economic Education Conference

The SF Fed Economic Education team attended the National Council on Economic Education Conference in Phoenix, AZ, on Friday, October 7. Economist Mary Daly also attended, speaking about the importance of investing in human capital to raise the speed limit on the slow growth economy. Read more

Notes on the Go: Currency in Circulation Explained

Friday, September 30, 2016

Photo of United States currency in front of American flag

Each day, millions of U.S. banknotes circulate throughout the economy. How much currency is out there? What factors influence currency demand? A new infographic from the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office explains the basics. Read more

How You Shop Affects How You Pay

Friday, September 16, 2016

Photo of man holding wallet with cash credit cards

Whether you’re shopping for groceries, back-to-school supplies, or season tickets, modern commerce provides many ways to shop and pay for purchases. A new infographic from the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office (CPO) shows how the decision to shop in person, online, or on-demand can influence your payment choice. Read more

District Voices Go to Washington

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How do business and community voices make their way to monetary policy decision makers in Washington D.C.? Often through Federal Reserve Bank branches. SF Fed branch managers share how they gain insights into the issues and concerns affecting people and micro-economies in their areas. Read more

Can the SF Bay Area Solve Its Affordable Housing Crisis?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

San Francisco Housing City Hall

Sky-high rents and a competitive real estate market have created a housing crisis of epic proportions in California and especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. What can be done at the city level to create more affordable housing now? Read more

Is Fintech Changing Banking Supervision?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Image of Federal Reserve Building and Cash

Financial technology is changing the dynamics of banking and how financial institutions deliver their products and services. Even though the Fed doesn’t regulate these companies as a general rule, banking regulators are closely watching fintech. Here’s why. Read more

SF Fed’s Banner of Love

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SF Fed LGBT Pride One Bank Logo

On June 15, more than 300 Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco employees gathered in front of SF Fed headquarters to form a Banner of Love, a human LGBT Pride banner. Read more

Do People Carry Cash? We Asked

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Eighty-nine percent of consumers hold cash to some extent, according to the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office. In the new Cash Connect video, Policy Analyst Claire Wang asked people on the streets of San Francisco about their spending habits to find out who holds cash. She received a variety of responses. Read more

What’s the Fed’s Balance Sheet?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Close up of seal on Federal Reserve Note

Federal Reserve policy actions have increased the size of the Fed’s balance sheet to about $4.5 trillion. But what exactly is the Fed’s balance sheet? Here’s the answer from Glenn Rudebusch, director of SF Fed Economic Research. Read more

New $20 Note to Feature Harriet Tubman

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Harriet Tubman

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew today announced plans for the new $20, $10 and $5 notes, with the portrait of Harriet Tubman to be featured on the front of the new $20. Read more

2015 Annual Report

Monday, April 11, 2016

Image of 2015 Annual Report What We've Learned and why it matters

In the 2015 annual report, What We’ve Learned…and why it matters, find out how changes in demographics, and in employer and worker needs, have created a “new normal” in the U.S. labor market. Plus, learn how China’s economic slowdown is affecting global economic activity. Read more

President’s Speech Easter Eggs

Thursday, March 24, 2016

SF Fed President John Williams had fun with a few of his recent speeches, sprinkling in references to some of his favorite songs and artists. How many of these seven do you recognize? Read more

Williams’ Public Speaking Events to Be Streamed Online

Friday, March 18, 2016

Photo of John Williams speech streaming iPhone

Open and transparent communication is a cornerstone of effective monetary policy, and technology keeps giving us new ways to reach the public. In that spirit, I’m pleased to announce that the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco will begin livestreaming my public speaking engagements whenever possible. Read more

Pathways to Economic Opportunity

Friday, March 11, 2016

Photo of 2016 NICRC tour of the Los Angeles river

“Prosperity is like a Jenga tower: Take one piece out and the whole thing can fall,” said SF Fed President John Williams in his keynote at the 2016 National Community Reinvestment Conference. Couldn’t make it to the event? Get the highlights and take a video tour exploring Los Angeles river revitalization efforts. Read more

Cash Stands Ready Rain or Shine

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Meteorologists predicted that this year’s El Niño climate pattern would bring an onslaught of much-needed rain and snow to drought-stricken California. While storms haven’t hit the West Coast with the severity expected, Reserve Banks remain at the ready to get cash to commercial banks during any major weather events, right when it’s needed most. Read more

7 Things You May Not Know About U.S. Currency

Monday, February 8, 2016

Is the $1 note full of mystic symbolism? Can you name who’s on the $50? This President’s Day, explore little-known facts about U.S. currency design and the presidents that grace our notes. Read more

Who Holds Cash?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Image of woman holding $100 US note

Everyone has a different relationship with cash. Some carry and use it regularly while others never carry cash. Still others keep it on hand for emergencies but prefer a debit or credit card for everyday purchases. Can these behaviors provide insight into the future of cash holding for consumers? Read more

Breaking Down Barriers to Financial Well-being

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Photo of Laura Choi and David Erickson, SF Fed Community Development

Ensuring the financial well-being of families could be the key to strengthening the American economy. Laura Choi and Dr. David Erickson of SF Fed Community Development sat down to discuss the issue, the focus of their new essay, Toward a New Business Model. Read more

Top 10 Economic Letters of 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 FRBSF Economic Letter Research Recap

Economic growth, wages, and housing prices were trending online for Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Research in 2015. Here’s a roundup of the year’s most popular Economic Letters. Read more

Fed Raises Rates: Decision Overview

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fed Chair Janet Yellen Speaks at FOMC Press Conference, December 2015

After months of speculation by pundits and economists, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted on Wednesday, December 16, 2015, to raise rates. Here’s an overview of the decision and what it means for the SF Fed. Read more

Inside the $5 Savings Plan

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Image of $5 US Currency in Savings Jar

Want to pay down debt or take control of spending? The answer may not be in saving your pennies, but in setting aside your $5 notes. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco explores the trend. Read more

Remembering Douglas W. Shorenstein

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Douglas W. Shorenstein, our former Chairman of the Board. Today John C. Williams, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, shared his condolences with SF Fed employees and Doug’s friends and family. Read more

Does College Pay?

Friday, August 28, 2015

With tuition costs on the rise, casting doubt on the value of a four-year degree has become a national pastime. Look beyond the hype and at hard data, though, and you’ll find it still pays to pursue a college education. Mary C. Daly, SF Fed Associate Director of Research, crunches the numbers. Read more

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Community Reinvestment Act

Monday, August 24, 2015

Row of apartments and storefronts representing community

Every year, banks infuse hundreds of millions in capital into our district’s low and moderate income communities, thanks, in part, to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). These loans and investments help support affordable housing, small business, and other local resources. In this short video, get to know the provisions of the CRA and how they affect you. Read more

Ensuring Confidence in Cash, One Note at a Time

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stacks of $100 Federal Reserve Notes

The Federal Reserve Board ordered 7.2 billion Federal Reserve notes for 2015, and a significant number of currency notes change hands every day in the United States. The Federal Reserve is on the front lines of identifying potential counterfeit threats and monitoring the quality of the cash you use every day. Find out how in Maintaining Confidence in U.S. Currency, a video by the Federal Reserve’s national Cash Product Office (CPO). Read more

How Cash Gets Into Circulation

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How does currency get into circulation?

Ever wonder how cash gets from the U.S. Treasury to your local bank and ATMs? Follow the money with this quick explainer, and find out where Federal Reserve Banks fit into the process. Read more

President Williams’ Views on the Value of Lifelong Learning [SLIDESHARE]

Monday, May 4, 2015

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President and CEO John C. Williams

San Francisco Fed President and CEO John C. Williams discusses the value of higher education as a foundation for lifelong learning. The arc of one’s life and career choices are influenced by the continuous pursuit of knowledge, and even lessons that don’t appear to have a pragmatic purpose are vital to our success later in life. Read more

How does the Fed determine how much money to print every year?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sheet of freshly-printed $20 bills.

7.2 billion. That is how many Federal Reserve Notes the Board of Governors ordered with the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in 2015. What factors influence the Board’s decision when calculating how much new U.S. currency to order every year? Read more

Does College Matter?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

SF Fed Annual Report 2014: Does College Matter?

As the price of higher education continues to rise, does a college education’s return on investment still add up? A series of essays authored by San Francisco Fed President and CEO John C. Williams, Senior Vice President and Associate Director of Research Mary C. Daly, Research Associate Yifan Cao, and Senior Economic Education Manager Jody Hoff, argue that the answer is a resounding yes. The essays are included in the San Francisco Fed’s 2014 Annual Report, Does College Matter? Read more

How the Fed disposes of old cash

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Federal Reserve System is doing more to limit the environmental impact of currency. In 2014, Reserve Bank Cash Services produced 6,166 tons of shredded currency residue across its 28 operations and recycled 89 percent (5,467 tons) using various alternatives to landfills. Read more

Artists in community and economic development

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hand holding a paintbrush up to a canvass.

Can artists play a role in community development? Over 400 community organizers, advocates and artists explored that question at a recent San Francisco Fed conference focused on a new community development strategy called creative placemaking. Read more

San Francisco’s low-income residents are moving out

Monday, February 2, 2015

Young woman carrying several large moving boxes across the street.

A growing number of fast-expanding technology companies, from Twitter to Salesforce, and their well-paid engineers and executives now call San Francisco home. But that’s increasingly difficult to do for individuals who make less than $35,000 a year, according to a recent report by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. Read more

Using data to improve lives in low-income communities

Monday, January 19, 2015

In the business trend called big data, technology is used to mine massive amounts of information to boost sales and profit. Businesses now use sophisticated software to comb through emails, Twitter and Facebook posts, and even smartphone signals to target customers or roll out new products. But while it’s revolutionizing the business world, could big data also be used for taking on poverty and other social challenges? Read more

More single-family homes for rent: A trend in focus

Monday, January 5, 2015

More single-family homes were being built compared to the previous year as 2014 drew to a close, underscoring a strengthening real estate market. But another trend is drawing attention for its potential impact on the housing market and struggling families: a growing number of single-family homes are now for rent. Read more

The San Francisco Fed at 100

Monday, December 22, 2014

IBM proof machines, 1951. These check processing machines were first installed at the San Francisco head office in 1944. By 1951, San Francisco had 37 machines in operation.

The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank celebrated its 100th anniversary last May.

It’s an ideal time to reflect on the role the SF Fed has played in the major changes in the American economy over the past century. Read more

Despite Apple Pay buzz, cash is still popular

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The coming after-Thanksgiving shopping season will no doubt highlight the growth of mobile payments, a trend that just received a big boost with the rollout of Apple Pay. But despite the buzz around the iPhone-maker’s mobile wallet, a recent study points to a conclusion many may find surprising: cash is still popular. Read more