Americas Center 2018 Annual Review

A Note from Americas Center Director Stephen Kay

In 2018, the Americas Center continued to work with key stakeholders within and outside the Federal Reserve System to provide leadership on key supervisory, financial, and economic matters related to the Americas. In this annual review, we highlight many of our accomplishments, including

  • outreach events focused on North American trade, Cuba's economy, and Brazil's economic outlook
  • outreach events geared to South Florida's foreign and international banking community
  • participation of Atlanta Fed staff as instructors for the Board of Governors's Foreign Technical Assistance (FTA) training programs for examiners from various foreign regulatory agencies in Latin America and other regions

As we look ahead to 2019, the Americas Center will continue to plan a range of initiatives to support the mission of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (FRBA). We welcome your input on initiatives and invite you to contact us with your thoughts and suggestions.

2018 Highlights

Miami Provides Currency Services

In 2018, the Miami Branch provided currency services to several Latin American customers, including nine central banks, handling approximately $85 billion in U.S. currency (including $53 million in U.S. coin) to meet local demand for currency in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Attendees at a Miami meeting of the U.S. Mint and Joint Product Office

Miami Hosts Mint and Cash Meeting

In June, U.S. Mint representatives, along with FRBA Cash Operations and Miami international team members, visited Loomis International for an in-depth look at international coin shipment logistics. The meetings helped members of the System Coin Workgroup to better understand the logistics of international coin shipments and industry trends and to identify opportunities to collectively enhance existing processes.

Panelists at the workshop on de-risking, financial exclusion, and resiliency in the Caribbean

De-risking Workshop

In November the Americas Center hosted a workshop on "De-risking, Financial Exclusion, and Resiliency in the Caribbean." The meeting brought together specialists on de-risking from central banks, multilaterals, universities, banks, and fintech firms. Participants commented that the workshop was a rare chance for dialogue and policy discussion among people who don't normally have the opportunity to interact. The workshop was organized with Mark Nance (North Carolina State) and Eleni Tsingou (Copenhagen Business School). Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic welcomed the participants and encouraged them to continue progress toward developing effective policy solutions.

Cuba and the Caribbean conference in Sarasota, Florida | International Economics Workshop

International Economics Workshop

In December the AC co-sponsored its seventh annual international economics workshop with Emory University. Highlights included a paper on inflation targeting with sovereign default risk by Cristina Arellano of the Minneapolis Fed and a paper on exchange rate pass-through into export prices by Oleg Itskhoki of Princeton University. Over the past seven years the workshop has developed a strong reputation in the field of international economics.

NAFTA Roundtable | Cuba update

Cuba Update

Collin and Michael Laverty spoke about recent political and economic developments in Cuba at an event cosponsored with the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. The two experts and entrepreneurs spoke about the growth of tourism and the challenges that the self-employed encounter in Cuba's burgeoning private sector. The event was moderated by Fernanda Luchine, the program director of the World Affairs Council.

Caribbean Recovery Event in Sarasota

The AC, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, and the Global Interdependence Center cosponsored a conference on Cuba and disaster recovery in the Caribbean ("Cuba and the Caribbean: What Now?") on February 22. Highlights included a panel on Investment in Cuba featuring Stonegate Bank president David Seleski and Cuba Educational Travel president Collin Laverty as well as a panel on disaster recovery with members of Congress Stacey Plaskett (Virgin Islands) and Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), which was moderated by Politico's Ben White. Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, the former chief U.S. diplomat in Cuba, was the keynote speaker.

NAFTA Luncheon

In August the AC and World Affairs Council of Atlanta cohosted a luncheon on the future of North American trade. Raphael Bostic moderated a panel that featured Canadian Counsel General Nadia Theodore, Mexican Consul General Javier Diaz de Leon, and Laura Dawson of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC. The panelists discussed NAFTA and its impact on manufacturing and trade in North America.

Development Economics Workshop

The AC held the 11th annual Southeastern Development Economics Workshop on March 2. The workshop was cosponsored with Georgia Tech, Mercer, and the University of Georgia. Researchers presented new work on a range of topics related to development economics, including "The Impact of Child-Related Transfers and Informal Childcare on the Labor Supply of Women with Children," by Anne Hannusch of Emory University and the Atlanta Fed.

International Supervision Outreach with Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA)

In October, the International Supervision Group, in coordination with the Americas Center and FIBA, cohosted an outreach program on the Customer Due Diligence (CDD)/Beneficial Ownership Rule. The event included a speaker from FinCen (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), an interagency regulatory panel discussion, and a presentation on the economic outlook. Attendees included FIBA's membership from the South Florida international banking community. This important annual forum continues to serve as a meaningful platform to provide relevant information and to encourage open dialogue on key topics.

Bank analysis and examination school in Lima, Peru

SRC's Contributions to Federal Reserve System Foreign Technical Assistance

Atlanta Fed Supervision, Regulation, and Credit (SRC) staff participated as system foreign technical assistance instructors at schools sponsored by multilateral associations or foreign regulatory agencies located in Peru, Jamaica, El Salvador, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Guyana, and Armenia. SRC staff also participated as instructors in training schools for foreign regulatory agency examination staff held in the United States in conjunction with the Board of Governors.

Americas Center Steering Committee and Liaisons

Juan Sanchez, Paula Tkac, George Holguin, Nell Campbell-Drake, Mary Kepler, Stephen Kay
(not pictured: Joan Buchanan, Michael Chriszt, Bevery Ferrell, Molly Willison, Sandy Juarez, John Morris, Mirna Serrano, John Sullivan)