Fed Challenge Team Advances to National Championship Round

THE COLLEGE FED CHALLENGE TEAM took its first step in a quest for Lafayette’s second consecutive national title with a victory in the Third District Regional Championship Nov. 1. The team will compete for the national crown in the title round, a simulated meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Nov. 30 at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.Fed Challenge

Lafayette hosted the regional competition at Pfenning Alumni Center in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. It included teams from Princeton, Lehigh, Gettysburg, Delaware, the College of New Jersey, Saint Francis, Elizabethtown, and Shippensburg. It was organized by James DeVault, associate professor of economics, who advises the Fed Challenge team with Julie Smith, assistant professor of economics.

Last year, Lafayette outperformed Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers-Newark in the final round of the Fed Challenge to win the 2009-10 title. Two members of the championship team, Dylan McNamara ’11 (mathematics) and Nicholas Stacey ’11 (mathematics/economics), returned for this year’s competition. The other members of the team are Kirtika Challa ’12 (economics), Laura Wong Hon Chan ’12 (economics), Haley Huffines ’12 (economics), Nan Li ’12 (international economics and commerce), Marc Tancer ’11 (mathematics-economics), and Miao Wang ’12 (mathematics-economics).

Sponsored by some of the nation’s Federal Reserve banks, the College Fed Challenge encourages better understanding of the U.S. central bank, the forces influencing economic conditions in this country and abroad, and the ways the economy affects everyone’s lives. In the competitions, teams give a 20-minute presentation on monetary policy then defend their position during a 15-minute round of questioning by the judges. The teams are judged on content, teamwork, responses to questions, presentation, and style.