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Visiting the Fed, This Time with Heightened Understanding

Jacqueline Martinez Marx ’18, a student in the inaugural class of the Master of Management Studies in Systemic Risk program, reflects on the knowledge she’s gained while pursuing the degree.

As we were heading to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Fed) for a one-day seminar, I was musing about what it means for a central banker studying systemic risk to go to this institution. This was not my first visit to the Fed, so the unique thrill of approaching it for the first time was not there. However, this occasion turned out to be of great relevance for me. Unlike in my previous visit, this time I understood the role of the Fed in greater depth.

Like any professional, I always cherish the opportunity to approach colleagues to discuss common issues. I am an experienced supervisor with a reasonable understanding of ​​the responsibilities and difficulties of my field. Still, this visit to the Fed was even more significant for me thanks to my studies in the Master of Management Studies in Systemic Risk program. I have reaffirmed in class the importance of the Fed as the place where monetary policy decisions move worldwide financial markets and as the lender of last resort during the global financial crisis. Also, I realized that pursuing the master’s degree has given me a much broader picture that allows me to perceive more thoroughly the challenges that central banks are facing today. Undoubtedly, it was such a pleasure to connect the dots between the range of topics covered in our program and other central bankers’ thoughts.

While attending the conference program that day and listening to the diversity of topics that are handled in a central bank, I suddenly realized how fascinating it is to be part of a group of people with such high responsibilities—and I felt proud to be one of them. I am talking about the public servants (and among them a lot of unsung heroes) who are looking after us from different perspectives, making decisions on a number of issues that are complex by nature and have far-reaching, concrete consequences for everyone. Monetary policy, regulation and supervision, banknotes issuance, safe and sound payment systems, financial stability, lender of last resort, consumer protection... Wow! It’s such an honor and a challenge to be a central banker.

Finally, I felt happy to share the day with my classmates, professors, and other fellow central bankers knowing that we were in an emblematic place for us, and I am certainly looking forward to what my next visit to the Fed is going to bring.