"I believe it is extremely important for our students to understand both the history of the Federal Reserve Act and the creation of the Federal Reserve System, as well as understanding how the Fed works and its monetary policy impact on business,” said Steele, who is also the managing principal of The Steele Group, a management consulting company providing services to fortune 100 and 500 companies. “I incorporate some aspect of the Fed in every course I teach, and I believe we need a stronger focus on helping our business students understand not only money and banking in the U.S., but global central banking as well."
After Yellen spoke, she took questions -- including one from Steele regarding how to best educate millennials and undergraduate students about the Federal Reserve today.
“Chair Yellen’s response to my question regarding how we can best educate our students about the role of the Federal Reserve System in the U.S., as well as global central banking, was to continue teaching money and banking in the classic way that we have, but she also recommended teachers begin focusing on the financial crisis of ’08, which is where the lessons are going to be moving forward,” explained Steele.
Yellen, who used to teach money and banking as a college professor at Harvard, UC Berkeley and the London School of Economics and Political Science, gave a lengthy answer to Steele, emphasizing that while the core topics of money and banking must remain central to teaching students, she also would add more to the curriculum about what financial crises are, how they can occur and what consequences they have for the economy.
“I would emphasize two new topics. First, I would talk about financial crises and I would talk about the role of central banks including the Federal Reserve, as serving as a lender of last resort. The second topic I would be certain to include would cover what I’ll call unconventional monetary policy, and the importance of the so-called zero lower bound, which is that short-term overnight interest rates, which are the traditional tools of the Fed and central bankers, can’t move much below zero,” she said in the town hall.
“I have tremendous respect for Chair Yellen, and I am excited to share this knowledge with my undergraduate students at Kelley,” said Steele. “As part of the immersion experiences I have created for students, such as the New York Financial Community Learning Experience, I would like to create a similar experience for students in Washington, D.C., so they can experience and learn about the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.”