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F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k o f S t. L o u i s

Annual Report 2012

After the Fall
Rebuilding Family Balance Sheets,
Rebuilding the Economy

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F e d e r a l R e s e r v e B a n k o f S t. L o u i s

Annual Report
for the year 2012

Published May 2013

Table of Contents

President’s Message .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3
After the Fall: Rebuilding Family Balance Sheets,
Rebuilding the Economy .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4
Our People. Our Work. . .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 16
Our Leaders. Our Advisers. . .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 20
Chairman’s Message .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 21

Read our financial statements on our web site at
There, you can also find this entire report, along with a short video
featuring key points in the essay and a Spanish version of the essay.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

President’s Message
The St. Louis Fed’s New Center
for Household Financial Stability


he financial crisis and Great Recession had profound
effects not only on the U.S. economy as a whole, but
also on individual households. For instance, the collapse of the housing bubble sharply reduced the wealth
of many homeowners and led many into foreclosure.
Moreover, the collapse of the bubble left households with
much more debt (relative to their incomes) than they had
intended. Consequently, household deleveraging, or paying down debt, has played a key role in the recent recession and the slow recovery.
It is important to learn more about the link between
households’ balance sheets (their savings, assets, debts
and net worth, as distinct from wages and income) and
the overall performance of the U.S. economy, as well as
the link between balance sheets and the stability and
upward mobility of families.
For this reason, we are pleased to announce the
creation at the St. Louis Fed of the Center for Household
Financial Stability, which is dedicated to further research
on household balance sheets—their status and overall
health, why they matter for families and the economy,
and the best approaches for strengthening them. Information on the center and its team members can be found
This year’s annual report essay features some of the
center’s new research. Authors Ray Boshara and Bill
Emmons find that while many Americans lost wealth
during the Great Recession, younger, less-educated and
nonwhite families lost the greatest percentage of their
wealth. According to the analysis, these subgroups
had higher than average concentrations of their wealth
in housing and more debt relative to their assets and
income, meaning that the families most vulnerable to a
deep recession often possessed the least healthy and riskiest balance sheets when the recession began. Boshara
and Emmons also present evidence associating various
levels of household balance-sheet health with college
access and completion, upward economic mobility, and

financial stability, as well as research suggesting that both
sides of a family’s balance sheet—assets and liabilities—
appear to impact spending and economic growth.
Many in the Federal Reserve System and in other
circles have, of course, been studying consumer finance
for many years. What the center hopes to offer is a conceptual framework and a common table to work together
and learn about household balance sheets. The center
also plans to publish research on household balance
sheets, including the new two-page research briefs, In
the Balance. In addition, the team is constructing a
balance-sheet data clearinghouse; creating a new balance-sheet index to gauge the health of American households’ balance sheets; and organizing research symposia,
practitioner forums, a speaker series and other activities
to understand family balance sheets and develop ideas on
how to improve them.
Work is under way and the partnerships are forming
with colleagues throughout the Federal Reserve System,
as well as external researchers and others. As we learn
more about how microeconomic activity affects the performance of the macroeconomy, this research could have
important public-policy implications, including insights
for monetary policy.

James Bullard
President and CEO
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


After the Fall
Rebuilding Family Balance Sheets,
Rebuilding the Economy
By Ray Boshara and William Emmons

Ray Boshara is a senior adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and is the director of
the Center for Household Financial Stability. Prior to joining the Fed in 2011, Boshara was vice
president of the New America Foundation, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. Over the past
20 years, Boshara has advised presidential candidates; the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations;
and leading policymakers worldwide. He has testified before the U.S. Congress several times, most
recently before the Senate Banking Committee in October 2011. Boshara is a graduate of The Ohio
State University, Yale Divinity School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

William Emmons is the chief economist of the Center for Household Financial Stability.
He is an assistant vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where
his areas of focus include household balance sheets and their relationship to the broader
economy. He also speaks frequently on topics including banking, financial markets, financial
regulation and the economy. Emmons received a Ph.D. in finance from the Kellogg School
of Management at Northwestern University. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

In this column are definitions of terms
that are highlighted in bold in the text.

mericans, imbued with great expectations and optimism,
set several records in the past decade in pursuit of the
American dream of homeownership. We had both the highest rate of homeownership and the highest concentration
of wealth in housing ever recorded. Millions, including the

Balance sheet: The financial accounting for an economic
unit’s financial and tangible
assets and its liabilities. A
balance sheet consists of two
columns, containing all assets
on the left-hand side and all
liabilities on the right-hand side.
The difference between the
value of assets and liabilities
is defined as net worth, or
wealth. Net worth can be
positive or negative.

most economically vulnerable, assumed risky mortgages to
purchase these homes and ran up their other debts as well,
leading to a personal debt-to-income ratio of 133 percent, an
all-time high. And easy access to credit, along with rapidly
rising home values, let our personal savings rate plunge to its
lowest level since the 1930s.
Leverage was the price we paid, and
are still paying, for that American dream.
The risk of leverage, of course, is that

economically vulnerable groups possessed
especially risky balance sheets going into the
crisis. We then address the importance of

it can multiply losses. As house prices

balance-sheet health at the micro level—that

fell, the balance sheets of economically

is, the importance of sound financial footing

fragile families were damaged. And while

to families. Finally, we review research on

household balance sheets have improved

the importance of healthy household bal-

in the past few years—families are rebuild-

ance sheets to the economy, and we briefly

ing their savings and paying down their

convey our future research plans on house-

debts—balance sheets have not yet fully

hold balance sheets.

rebounded. We estimate that only about
45 percent of the average inflation-adjusted
household wealth that was lost since the
onset of the downturn in 2007 has been
recovered. (See sidebar on Page 14.)

The Financial Crisis
and the Impact on Households
Household balance sheets were severely
affected during the financial crisis and

In this essay, we present new research

ensuing recession. According to the

regarding the damage to household balance

Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of

sheets resulting from the Great Recession of

Consumer Finances (SCF)—the most

2007-09. Specifically, we show which demo-

comprehensive examination of household

graphic groups lost the most wealth fol-

balance sheets—average household wealth

lowing the recession, and we illustrate how

declined 15 percent between 2007 and
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |

Leverage: In a qualitative
sense, leverage refers to the
degree to which a family’s
assets are financed with debt.
In a quantitative sense, leverage is defined in this article as
the ratio or percent of a family’s
debt relative to its assets.


Household: The U.S. Census
Bureau defines a household
as consisting of all the people
who occupy a housing unit.
(See “family,” too.) A house,
an apartment or other group
of rooms, or a single room,
is regarded as a housing unit
when it is occupied or intended
for occupancy as separate living
quarters, that is, when the
occupants do not live with any
other persons in the structure
and there is direct access
from the outside or through
a common hall. Because
the definitions of family and
household are very similar, we
use the terms interchangeably
in the text.
A household includes the
related family members and all
the unrelated people, if any,
such as lodgers, foster children,
wards or employees who share
the housing unit. A person
living alone in a housing unit,
or a group of unrelated people
sharing a housing unit, such
as partners or roomers, is also
counted as a household. The
count of households excludes
group quarters.

Human capital: A concept
meant to capture the potential
earning power of an individual.
Unlike physical capital, such
as a machine, human capital
cannot be measured precisely
because it is not legal to buy
and sell financial claims on a
person’s future earnings. The
concept is useful, nonetheless,
to facilitate discussions of why
people make investments in
education and what financial
benefits this investment might

Percentage Losses in Mean Net Worth

in 20

understand who lost wealth and why.
Accordingly, we focus on families grouped
by age, educational attainment, and race







that families that were younger, that had
members of a historically disadvantaged

AAH: African-Americans and Hispanics of any race.
WA: Whites and Asians.
GED: General Educational Development certificate.

minority group (African-Americans or

SOURCE: Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances, 2007 and 2010.

Hispanics of any race) suffered particularly large wealth losses (Figure 1).1
Even before the crisis, younger, lesseducated and historically disadvantaged
minority families were known to be among
the most economically vulnerable groups
because of the particular occupations and
sectors in which they were overrepresented,

concentrations of wealth in housing and
high levels of debt.

Large Portfolio Concentrations
in Housing before the Crash
Housing represented a relatively large

such as low-wage service-sector jobs and

share of total assets among economically

construction. What was not well-known—

vulnerable groups (Figures 2 and 3). Fig-

but which we document here—is that

ure 2 shows the average share of total assets

families in these economically vulnerable

held in the form of residential real estate in

groups often also had very risky balance

2007 by each of the nine white and Asian

sheets going into the crisis. Our research

subgroups; Figure 3 shows the same infor-

suggests that both economic vulnerability

mation for the nine subgroups of blacks

and risky financial choices may stem from

and Hispanics.

one or more common causes, including

Among white and Asian families, the

low levels of human capital, relative youth

pattern of asset concentration in housing

and inexperience, as well as the legacy

along both age and educational-attainment

of discrimination in education, employ-

dimensions is remarkably clear. The

ment, housing and credit markets. As we

younger the family and the lower the level

show later, these groups experienced the

of educational attainment—that is, the

most-acute balance-sheet “failures”—high

more economically vulnerable the family—


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012




large declines, the Fed’s survey suggests
less than a college education and/or were


High school dropout

Although many subgroups experienced


College graduate

reverse causation.



High school (or GED) graduate

not difficult to interpret due to potential



measured, that are not subject to choice or




“exogenous” dimensions that are reliably



or ethnicity—demographic and other



random variation over time, and that are

More important, however, we must



Reverse causation: A relationship between two variables,
each of which may be important
in explaining the other, rather
than one being clearly causal
with respect to the other. For
example, income and marital
status may be subject to reverse
causation. Having a high
income may increase the chance
that an individual is married,
but being married also might
contribute to an individual’s
having a higher income. Thus,
the causal relationship between
the variables is ambiguous.
Demographic variables such as
age and race or ethnicity are not
subject to reverse causation in
the same way. Being a minority
may reduce a family’s chance
of being a homeowner, due
to discrimination in housing
or mortgage markets, but not
being a homeowner does not
“cause” minority status. Causation clearly is one-way only, if
it exists.

dropped 39 percent.



2010, while median household wealth


Median: The number that
ranks precisely in the middle of
a set of numbers arranged in
order of magnitude. If the set
of numbers has an even number
of members, the median is the
average of the two numbers
that are closest to the middle
of the ranking. In contrast, the
mean is the average value of
a set of numbers divided by the
number of members in the set.

















High school dropout




Younger YoungerMiddle-aged
Middle-aged Older Older
(under 40)
(under 40) (40-61) (40-61) (62 or over)
(62 or over)
College graduate
College graduate
High school
school graduate
High school
school dropout

Fed’s Survey
of Consumer
2007. 2007.

Younger YoungerMiddle-aged
Middle-aged Older Older
(under 40)
(under 40) (40-61) (40-61) (62 or over)
(62 or over)

College graduate
College graduate
High school
school graduate
High school
school dropout

Fed’s Survey
of Consumer
2007. 2007.

the higher its average housing concentra-

higher levels (Figure 3). With a few slight

tion. The difference in housing portfolio

exceptions, the general principles enunci-

shares between the economically strongest

ated earlier hold here, too. The younger

subgroup (older college-educated families)

and the less-educated the family, the higher

and the economically weakest (younger

the average portfolio concentration in

high school dropouts) is an enormous 41

housing. The very low level of homeowner-

percentage points, making the latter group

ship in 2007 among younger high school

much more vulnerable to a housing-market

dropouts, 24 percent, makes the group’s

decline. The high average real-estate share

86 percent housing share of total assets all

in total assets among all white and Asian

the more remarkable. Comparing Figures

high school dropouts as a group is even

2 and 3, it is clear that the third dimen-

more striking when considering that the

sion of economic vulnerability—belonging

homeownership rate is relatively low in this

to a historically disadvantaged minority

group—52 percent in 2007 vs. 90 percent

group—also was strongly predictive of a

among older college grads. Said differently,

relatively high exposure to housing risk.

if younger high school dropouts have any
assets of significance, they are likely to be
in the form of a house.

High Levels of Household Debt
Economically vulnerable families

The age-education pattern for blacks

generally had higher balance-sheet lever-

and Hispanics is very similar to that for

age, which meant that any decline in the

whites and Asians, albeit at uniformly

value of their assets was multiplied into a
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |










in 2007
in among
2007 among
and Asians
and Asians

or intangible
property owned by a family.
in RatioTangible
of Total
Total Ass
house2007 among
2007 among
and Hispanics
and Hispanicsamong
such as
90 and home furnish90
ings, and real estate, including
a primary residence, vacation
70 and investment real
Intangible assets include
financial assets such as bank
deposits, bonds, stocks, mutual
40 cash value of life
funds, the
30 and pension entitle30
ments (although not anticipated
Social Security benefits, which
are not10
legally owned by the



Younger YoungerMiddle-aged
(under 40)
(under 40) (40-61) (40-61) (6

Family: We follow the definition of “family” used by Bricker
College graduate
College graduate
et al. in discussing the Federal
High school
school graduate
Finances. (See “household,”
too.) A household unit is
divided into a “primary ecoSOURCE:SOURCE:
Fed’s Survey
of Consumer
nomic unit” (PEU)—the family—and everyone else in the
household. The PEU (family)
is intended to be the economically dominant single person or
couple (whether married or living together as partners) and all
other persons in the household
who are financially interdependent with that economically
dominant person or couple.
Because the definitions of family
and household are very similar,
we use the terms interchangeably in the text.
Family head: The head
of the primary economic unit
(PEU) or family. (See definition
of “family.”) Designation of a
family head is not meant to convey a judgment about how an
individual family is structured
but as a means of organizing
the data consistently. If a
couple is economically dominant
in the PEU, the head is the
male in a mixed-sex couple or
the older person in a same-sex
couple. If a single person is
economically dominant, that
person is designated as the
family head.


Middle-aged Older Older
(under 40) (40-61) (40-61) (62 or over)
(62 or over)









































Middle-aged Older Older
(under 40)
(under 40) (40-61) (40-61) (62 or over)
(62 or over)
College College
High school
school graduate
High school
school dropout

e College
school graduate
school dropout

of Consumer
2007. 2007.

Ratio Ratio
of Total
of Debt
Total to
to Assets
Total Assets
in 2007
in 2007
and Hispanics
and Hispanics




al Real-Estate
in Ratio Ratio
of Total
of Debt
Total to
to Assets
Total Assets
in 2007
in 2007
and Hispanics
and Hispanicsamong
and Asians
and Asians


Fed’s Survey
of Consumer
2007. 2007.

proportionately larger decline in the fam-


Middle-aged Older Older
(under 40)
(under 40) (40-61) (40-61) (62 or over)
(62 or over)
College College
High school
school graduate
High school
school dropout

Fed’s Survey
of Consumer
2007. 2007.

Figure 4 shows that younger and less-

ily’s net worth (Figures 4 and 5). A high

educated white and Asian families tended

concentration in housing need not lead

to have higher debt-to-asset ratios in 2007

to financial distress in a housing market

than older and better-educated families.

crash if the owner has sufficient net assets

(A similar pattern existed for debt-to-

(including homeowners’ equity) and suf-

income ratios.) It appears that relative

ficient cash flow after debt service to meet

youth is the strongest influence on average

other needs. If the owner doesn’t have

debt ratios, while the effect of educational

sufficient assets or cash flow, however, the

attainment is not as strong or clear-cut.

family may default on its debts, losing a

The dominant influence of age on

house, a car and access to additional credit

balance-sheet leverage is evident also in

on good terms.

Figure 5, which depicts debt-to-asset ratios

The SCF data reveal that economically

for nine black and Hispanic subgroups.

vulnerable families often financed their

Educational attainment also may matter,

housing investments in a risky way with

as the debt ratios of all dropout groups

lots of debt and little margin for error. That

were higher than those of college-graduate

is, among the subgroups we consider, those

groups of the same age. Comparing Fig-

who are economically most vulnerable have,

ures 4 and 5, race or ethnicity also emerges

on average, the highest concentrations in

as a powerful predictor of debt ratios, as

housing and the most debt, whether it is

every black or Hispanic subgroup had

measured against assets or income.

more debt than the corresponding white or


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

Net worth: A family’s assets
minus its liabilities. It is a
synonym for wealth and is
likely to be positively related to
a family’s financial stability.


The Link between Saving and Graduating from College

No Savings

Only Basic




% Who Graduated from
College—All Children






% Who Graduated from






Savings Level

Mobility: Movement up or
down in a family’s or individual’s level or ranking on an
economic or financial measure.
Absolute mobility refers to a
change in an individual’s level
of income, for example, regardless of any changes in other
individuals’ incomes. Relative
mobility refers to changes in
an individual’s ranking among
other individuals on some

Source: Elliott, Nam and Song.

Asian group. Illustrating the point made

likely to attend college than youth lacking

above, historically disadvantaged minor-

accounts. Elliott also found other powerful

ity families tended to finance their assets

correlations between savings and postsec-

with more debt than did white and Asian

ondary education outcomes—namely, that

families, which amplified the effects of

higher levels of savings are associated with

high housing concentrations on net-worth

higher rates of college graduation, even for

declines during the crisis.

lower-income children (Table 1).

Why Damage to Balance Sheets
Matters for Families
To illustrate how balance sheets matter

No doubt these modest amounts of savings would not be enough to finance a college
education, but the research suggests that
dedicated college savings forge what is called

for families, let us look at some postsec-

a “college-bound identity,” which appears to

ondary education, economic mobility and

extend a child’s planning horizon and spur

family stability outcomes.

behavior changes associated with college

College outcomes. The economics
literature is rich with data about the role
that parental education and income levels,

success, such as selecting more challenging
classes and prompting parental engagement.
Levels of debt appear to play a role,

neighborhoods, high schools, race, test

too, in college success. Scholars Michael

scores and other factors play in predict-

Sherraden and Min Zhan found that liquid

ing college success, yet only recently have

and nonliquid assets are positively associ-

scholars closely examined how various

ated with later college completion, while

balance-sheet components drive college

unsecured debt is negatively associated

access and completion.

with college completion. And researchers

William Elliott III, a leading researcher

Elliott and Ilsung Nam found that stu-

in this area, found that among youth who

dent loans may reduce net worth later in

intend to go to college, those with savings

life: Households with a four-year college

accounts in their own name, regardless of

graduate and outstanding student loans

the amount, were nearly seven times more

have $185,996 less net worth than houseFederal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


Liquid assets: Financial
assets that can be sold or
traded relatively easily and at
little cost. These include bank
deposits, stocks, bonds and
mutual funds.
Nonliquid assets: Financial
assets that cannot be sold or
traded easily and at little cost,
such as pension assets, as well
as durable goods, business
assets and real estate.
Unsecured debt: A loan
that does not require the borrower to pledge collateral, such
as a house or an automobile, to
the lender. Examples include
credit-card loans and student

holds with a four-year college graduate

vulnerable families
that diversify their
assets beyond
housing achieve
greater financial

Thomas Shapiro, an expert on the racial

but no outstanding student loans. The

dimensions of wealth, interviewed nearly

authors speculate that student loans may

200 families throughout the U.S. and

push down credit scores, reduce access to

examined national survey data with 10,000

credit, and consume disposable income and

families. He found that families with pri-

savings—thus suppressing the acquisition

vate wealth are able to move up from gen-

of other productive assets and investments

eration to generation, relocating to safer

(for example, homes, businesses, retirement

communities with better schools and pass-

accounts) that typically lead to the building

ing along the accompanying advantages

of net worth.

to their children. At the same time, those


Economic mobility outcomes. As

families without wealth remain trapped

with education, research on economic

in communities that do not allow them to

mobility has largely focused on the role of

move up, no matter how hard they work.

parents, earnings, education and other fac-

Shapiro also reported that the presence

tors in predicting whether individuals and

of even small amounts of wealth at key

their children move up (or down) the eco-

moments in life—at the brink of launching

nomic ladder. The role of savings, assets

a small business, starting college, purchas-

and net worth has been, until recently,

ing a home, or the onset of unemployment

relatively unexamined.

or bankruptcy—can have a “transforma-

Research thus far suggests that balancesheet factors generate upward mobility. Heri-

tive” effect on the life course.

Financial stability outcomes. Finally,

tage Foundation scholars found that financial

a growing body of research shows that

capital, family structure and educational

healthy balance sheets, and not just

attainment are the three best predictors of

income, matter for basic household finan-

economic mobility in America—with finan-

cial stability. Urban Institute researchers

cial capital (savings and assets) the strongest

found that households that are “liquid-

predictor. Similarly, sociologist Dalton

asset poor” are two to three times more

Conley reports, “While race, income,

likely than those with liquid assets to expe-

job status and net worth all tend to vary

rience “material hardship”—being unable

hand-in-hand, careful statistical parsing

to pay a bill or skipping necessary spend-

shows that it is really net worth that drives

ing on food or health care—after a job loss,

opportunity for the next generation.” Fur-

health emergency, death in the family or

ther, a study published by Pew’s Economic

other adverse event.

Mobility Project looked at the role of savings

Experiments also show that households

in economic mobility; the study found that

with savings may have fewer day-to-day

among adults in the bottom income quartile

financial worries, allowing them to be bet-

from 1984 to 1989, 34 percent of those with

ter planners and more future-oriented in

low initial savings left the bottom within

their economic and social decision-mak-

the period between 2003 and 2005, but 55

ing. Conversely, the lack of savings and

percent of those with high initial savings left

assets can hurt future consumption and

the bottom during that period.

security: Seventy percent of workers report


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

withdrawing money from college and

spending while they struggled with weak

retirement accounts in order to make ends

balance sheets, others likely would take up

meet, and these withdrawals will likely lead

the slack, contributing to reasonably steady

to losses of wealth in future years.

overall growth.

Finally, researchers Tammy Leonard

It has come as somewhat of a surprise,

and Wenhua Di report that lower- and

therefore, that many economists now are

moderate-income families that invest in

calling the Great Recession of 2007-09

productive assets and reduce their debts

a “balance-sheet recession” and that

were more likely to achieve and maintain

balance-sheet failures of the type described

financial stability (defined by them as a

above are seen as important contributors

family having enough savings and assets

to the downturn and weak recovery. Two

on which to survive for three months).

key aspects of the current economic cycle

Leonard and Di define “productive” assets

explain this description: (1) wealth effects

as businesses, nonhousing real estate,

and (2) defaults and deleveraging.

stocks or bonds—which underscores a

Wealth effects. Economists long have

key insight from our own research: Eco-

sought to estimate how much a one-time,

nomically vulnerable families that diversify

unexpected change in the value of house-

their assets beyond housing achieve greater

holds’ assets might affect their spending,

financial stability.

both in the short term and in the long

Why Damage to Balance Sheets
Matters for the Economy
Prior to the Great Recession, many

term—what are called “wealth effects.”
Economists Karl Case, John Quigley and
Robert Shiller found, first, that housingwealth effects are much larger than finan-

respected economists were not worried

cial-wealth effects (stocks, bonds, mutual

about the management of household bal-

funds). They estimated that, in recent years,

ance sheets and the role balance sheets

an unexpected, one-time increase of 1 per-

played in macroeconomic performance.

cent in housing wealth led to an increase of

This may have been due to the lack of

0.08 to 0.12 percent in consumer spending

recent historical evidence suggesting that

each year afterward.3 In contrast, the same

household balance-sheet failures, such as

increase in financial wealth was followed by

high concentrations in housing or high

a less than 0.03 percent permanent increase

levels of debt, actually harmed the econ-

in consumer spending.

omy. At the same time, many economists

Second, they found that consumer

believed that consumer credit markets were

spending reacts much more strongly to

reasonably competitive and efficient so that

declines than increases in household

most households’ balance sheets were in

wealth. In particular, an unexpected

pretty good shape. In short, policymakers

decline of 1 percent in house prices results

thought that any household balance-sheet

in about a 0.10 percent permanent decline

problems would largely work themselves

in consumer spending, while a 1 percent

out on their own without harming the

increase in house prices results in only

economy. If some families reduced their

about a 0.03 percent increase in consumer
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


Household financial
stability: A concept meant
to express the degree to which
a family’s financial situation is
stable, sustainable and resilient to temporary shocks and
setbacks. There is no precise
measure of household financial
stability, but it is likely to be
positively related to a family’s
net worth, its stock of liquid
assets, and its anticipation of
cash flows from paid employment, trust funds, pensions,
gifts or other sources.
Balance-sheet recession:
A recession that is caused by
or is made worse by many
weak balance sheets in one or
more sectors of the economy.
A weak balance sheet, in turn,
is one that has a low or negative ratio of net worth to total
assets compared to historical
Deleveraging: Reducing
debt or a debt ratio (typically
relative to assets or income)
either by paying off debt,
increasing debt more slowly
than assets, if assets are
increasing, or increasing debt
more slowly than income, if
income is increasing. Deleveraging may be voluntary or
involuntary from the perspective of the borrower.

spending.4 Applying these estimates to the

in both 2008 and 2009 from a baseline of

actual declines in housing wealth experi-

about 2.5 percent annual growth. Thus,

enced between 2005 and 2009—about 35

Hatzius predicted roughly zero growth

percent after inflation adjustment—the

for the two years. As it turned out, real

authors estimate that consumer spending

GDP fell 0.3 and 3.1 percent in those years,

ended up on a path about 3.5 percent lower

somewhat worse than he predicted.

than otherwise would have been expected,

Another body of research suggesting

or roughly $350 billion less than it would

that large-scale defaults can have signifi-

have been in 2010.

cant harmful effects on economic growth

Based in part on studies like this, some

includes the work of Carmen Reinhart

macroeconomists analyzing the Great

and Kenneth Rogoff, well-known for their

Recession and subsequent weak recovery

book, This Time Is Different. They studied

believe that negative household wealth

both banking crises and government debt

effects played an important role. They

defaults in many countries over a long time

describe the huge declines in asset values

span and concluded that losses on loans or

and net worth as one of the shocks that

bonds can amplify economic weaknesses

threw the economy into recession. Skeptics

when the losses damage financial interme-

might argue that the asset-price declines

diaries, impairing the economy’s credit-

themselves merely reflect anticipated dete-

creation mechanisms.


rioration elsewhere in the economy and,

There is a substantial amount of empiri-

therefore, are not themselves fundamental

cal evidence documenting the contours

causes of the downturn. These questions

and extent of household “deleveraging”—

merit further study.

households paying down their debts and

Defaults and deleveraging. There

rebuilding their savings—in the wake of

are two distinct but related ways in which

the crisis. The International Monetary

the liability side of household balance

Fund combined an examination of current

sheets may have harmed the economy in

levels of household debt in 36 countries

recent years—namely, through defaults

with an analysis of previous episodes of

and deleveraging.

excessive household debt. The IMF con-

Defaults that discharge debt in excess

firmed that household debt can become so

of acquired collateral value result in a loss

large and burdensome that it hampers eco-

to the lenders; it is the concentration of

nomic growth; the organization also con-

losses at highly leveraged financial insti-

cluded that policy responses that involve

tutions that appears to give loan defaults

debt restructuring can alleviate some of

their macroeconomic significance. An

the burdens on the economy. In earlier

early, and remarkably accurate, analysis of

work, economists at the McKinsey manage-

likely mortgage defaults and their effects

ment consulting firm stressed the need for

on financial institutions, mortgage lending

countries to avoid the buildup of excessive

and the economy as a whole by economist

household debt in the first place.6

Jan Hatzius predicted a huge reduction of

Economists Atif Mian, Amir Sufi and

2.6 percentage points in real GDP growth

their co-authors wrote a series of papers


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

documenting the cross-sectional diver-

able groups. Thus, the very families most

sity of the housing and credit boom and

exposed to the economic fallout of a deep

bust at the county level. They showed that

recession—fallout that came in the form of

large precrisis increases in debt-to-income

job loss or reduced income—possessed the

ratios were strong predictors of early and

weakest and riskiest balance sheets.

sharp corrections in house prices. Soon

We also presented evidence suggest-

Additional terms

thereafter, those counties with the sharpest

ing that it matters—for both family and

declines in house prices also experienced

economic growth outcomes—whether

surges in unemployment and mortgage

households have healthy or unhealthy

defaults, while auto sales and building

balance sheets. Surveying the research,

permits plunged. Mian and Sufi also

we presented evidence associating vari-

estimated that roughly two out of every

ous levels of household balance-sheet

three (4 million out of 6.2 million) jobs lost

health with college access and completion,

between March 2007 and March 2009 were

upward economic mobility, and financial

indirectly attributable to weak household

stability. And the research suggests that

balance sheets.

both the asset-side wealth effect and the

Further, economists Karen Dynan and

liability-side deleveraging effect appear to
be important contributors to the overall

households that had high leverage before

household balance-sheet effects on spend-

the crash subsequently decreased their

ing and the economy.

spending more than low-leverage houseand Edelberg’s work was to disentangle
the two sides of households’ balance sheets
in harming the broader economy. They

document an independent debt-overhang
effect: Households with greater leverage
decreased spending more, even when holding constant the change in net worth across
different households.

Our examination of household balance
sheets shows that while many Americans
lost wealth because of the Great Recession,
younger, less-educated and African-American and Hispanic families lost the most.
We also found that these subgroups had
both higher-than-average concentrations of
their wealth in housing and higher debt-toasset ratios than less economically vulner-

Looking Ahead
Examining the balance sheets of American households is relatively new territory
for researchers and policymakers who are
concerned about the economic health of
families and our nation. Much remains to
be learned, including a better understanding of the links between microeconomic
activity and macroeconomic performance.
In the months and years ahead, the
St. Louis Fed’s newly launched Center for
Household Financial Stability will
take on the challenge of this important
area of study. Instead of reacting to the last
decade’s balance-sheet failures—high levels
of debts, low levels of savings and insufficient assets beyond homeownership—we
aim to proactively assess and monitor the
continued on Page 15
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |

Mortgage debt: Any debt
secured by real estate, including first-lien mortgages, juniorlien mortgages, fixed-rate and
variable-rate loans, balances
owed on home-equity lines of
credit (HELOCs), and homeequity loans.
Nonmortgage debt: Any
debt not secured by real estate,
including credit-card debt, auto
debt, student loans and other
personal loans.

Wendy Edelberg found that individual

holds. A significant contribution of Dynan

Liabilities: Amounts
owed by a family to creditors.
Examples include mortgages,
auto loans, credit-card debts,
student loans, security credit
and taxes payable.


How Much Household Wealth Has Been Recovered?
Household Net Worth: Nominal, Inflation-Adjusted
and Inflation-Adjusted per Household

Nominal household net worth
Inflation-adjusted net worth
Inflation-adjusted net worth per household

in the Flow of Funds accounts; aggregate inflation-adjusted net
worth; and average inflation-adjusted net worth per household,
a household-level measure consistent with the data format in the
Survey of Consumer Finances as discussed in this article.
Clearly, the 91 percent recovery of wealth losses portrayed by
the aggregate nominal measure paints a different picture than
the 45 percent recovery of wealth losses indicated by the average
inflation-adjusted household measure. Considering the uneven
recovery of wealth across households, a conclusion that the financial damage of the crisis and recession largely has been repaired is
not justified.

Alternative Measures of Wealth Loss and Recovery
Percent Change

Percent Change

Percent Recovery by
2012:Q4 of
Peak-to-Trough Decline

1) Nominal net worth (reported in Flow of Funds)




2) Inflation-adjusted net worth (calculated as
[1] deflated by Personal Consumption
Expenditures price index)




3) Inflation-adjusted net worth per household
(calculated as [2] adjusted for population growth;
corresponds to mean value reported in Survey of
Consumer Finances)




SOURCES FOR CHART AND TABLE: Federal Reserve Flow of Funds accounts, Bureau of Economic Analysis and Census Bureau.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012











Index values equal 100 at respective peaks in 2007


he Federal Reserve reported March 7, 2013, that aggregate
household net worth at the end of 2012 was $66.1 trillion,
nearly back to its precrisis peak of $67.4 trillion, reached at the
end of the third quarter of 2007. After falling to $51.4 trillion at
the end of the first quarter of 2009, the subsequent increase of
$14.7 trillion through the end of last year represented a recovery
of 91 percent of the losses suffered. Does this mean that the
financial damage of the financial crisis and economic recession
largely has been repaired?
The simple metric of aggregate household net worth is
misleading for at least three reasons. First, the effect of inflation
is ignored. Consumer prices increased about 2 percent per year
in the five and one-quarter years since the third quarter of 2007,
reducing the purchasing power of a dollar by a total of about
10 percent. Therefore, a return to the previous nominal dollar
peak does not mean that a given amount of wealth could buy
as much as before.
Second, simple aggregate net worth does not adjust for population growth. The number of households increased by about
3.8 million between the third quarter of 2007 and the end of 2012,
or about 3.4 percent. The wealth of all American households now
is shared by more families than before.
Third, the recovery of wealth has not been uniform across
families. Of the total recovery of $14.7 trillion between the first
quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2012, $9.1 trillion, or
62 percent, of the gain was due to higher stock-market wealth.
Stock wealth is unevenly held, with the vast majority of stocks
owned by a relatively small number of wealthy families. Thus,
most families have recovered much less than the average amount.
The figure and table provide details of three different measures
of household net worth—aggregate nominal net worth, as reported

continued from Page 13

health of household balance sheets,
including the creation of new data
warehouses and indexes. Along with
our partners in the Federal Reserve
System and beyond, we are excited
about our new research on the health
and consequences of household
balance sheets for both struggling
American families and the recovering economy.
Bryan J. Noeth, a policy analyst at the Center
for Household Financial Stability, provided
valuable research assistance.

The Center for Household Financial Stability
will focus on rebuilding the household
balance sheets of struggling American families. The HFS team will be conducting and
publishing research on key balance-sheet
issues, organizing research conferences
and symposia, establishing a web-based
research clearinghouse, developing a
Household Balance Sheet Index and
organizing forums to better understand the
balance-sheet issues affecting struggling
families and communities.

1 Notice that the percent declines in average net worth
between 2007 and 2010 for each of the education
groups is larger than the overall average decline. This
anomaly is due to changes in the number of families in
each category and differences in the average wealth
losses in those categories. To illustrate how changing
cell sizes can produce individual category percentage
declines that all are larger than the overall decline,
consider a simple example. Suppose that, in 2007, you
owned two cats and two dogs. The average weight
of your cats was 5 pounds and the average weight of
your dogs was 10 pounds; so, the average weight of
your pets was 7½ pounds. Suppose that, in 2010, you
had one 4-pound cat and three dogs with an average
weight of 9 pounds. Comparing 2007 and 2010,
the average weight of the cats you owned decreased
20 percent, and the average weight of your dogs
decreased 10 percent. But the average weight of your
pets actually increased 31/3 percent, from 7½ to 7¾
pounds. In terms of wealth changes among families
of different education levels, less-than-high-school
families with relatively large average losses (analogous
to cats) decreased as a share of the sample, while
college-educated families with relatively small average
losses (analogous to dogs) increased as a share of the
sample. The number of families with college degrees
increased between 2007 and 2010, from 35 to 37
percent of the sample, while the number of families
with less than a high school degree declined from 14 to
12 percent. The number of high school-degree families
stayed roughly the same, at about 51 percent.
2 Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
found that young people with student debt saw bigger
declines in homeownership and vehicle purchases since
2008 than young people without student debt. See
Brown and Caldwell.
3 See Table 7 in Case, Quigley and Shiller.
4 See Table 8 in Case, Quigley and Shiller.
5 For example, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard observed, “A better interpretation
of the behavior of U.S. real GDP over the last five
years may be that the economy was disrupted by a
permanent, one-time shock to wealth.” See Bullard.
Federal Reserve Gov. Sarah Bloom Raskin highlighted
the importance of wealth inequality for understanding
the recession. See Raskin.
6 See Croxson et al.
7 The issue is that Mian and Sufi cannot rule out the possibility that the boom and bust together represented
a huge positive wealth effect followed by an equally
large negative wealth effect; in other words, they cannot verify an independent role for the liability side of
the balance sheet in propagating the economic shock
because they do not observe individual households’
balance sheets.
Amar, Eric; Atkins, Charles; Dobbs, Richard; Kwek,
Ju-Hon; Lund, Susan; Manyika, James; Roxburgh,
Charles; and Wimmer, Tony. “Debt and Deleveraging: The Global Credit Bubble and Its Economic
Consequences.” McKinsey Global Institute Report,
January 2010.
Bricker, Jesse; Kennickell, Arthur B.; Moore, Kevin B.; and
Sabelhaus, John. “Changes in U.S. Family Finances
from 2007 to 2010: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances.” Federal Reserve Bulletin, June 2012,
Vol. 98, No. 2, pp. 1-80.
Brown, Meta; and Caldwell, Sydnee. “Young Student
Loan Borrowers Retreat from Housing and Auto Mar-

kets.” The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Liberty
Street blog, posted April 17, 2013.
Bullard, James. “Inflation Targeting in the USA.” Speech
to the Union League Club of Chicago, Feb. 6, 2012.
Butler, Stuart M.; Beach, William W.; and Winfree, Paul L.
“Pathways to Economic Mobility: Key Indicators.”
Washington, D.C.: Pew Charitable Trusts Economic
Mobility Project, 2008.
Case, Karl E.; Quigley, John M.; and Shiller, Robert J.
“Wealth Effects Revisited 1975-2012.” National
Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Working Paper
18667, January 2013.
Conley, Dalton. “Savings, Responsibility and Opportunity
in America.” New America Foundation Policy Paper,
April 20, 2009.
Cooper, Daniel; and Luengo-Prado, Maria. “Savings and
Economic Mobility.” In: Cramer, Reid; O’Brien, Rourke;
Cooper, Daniel; and Luengo-Prado, Maria (eds.), A
Penny Saved Is Mobility Earned: Advancing Economic
Mobility through Savings. Washington, D.C.: Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project, 2009, pp. 6-10.
Croxson, Karen; Daruvala, Toos; Dobbs, Richard; Forn,
Ramon; Lund, Susan; Manyika, James; and Roxburgh,
Charles. “Debt and Deleveraging: Uneven Progress
on the Path to Growth.” McKinsey Global Institute.
January 2012.
Di, Wenhua; and Leonard, Tammy. “Is Household Wealth
Sustainable? An Examination of Asset Poverty
Re-entry after an Exit.” Journal of Family and
Economic Issues, published online March 24, 2013.
Dynan, Karen. “Is a Household Debt Overhang Holding
Back Consumption?” Working Paper, August 2012.
Dynan, Karen; and Edelberg, Wendy. “What’s Driving
Deleveraging? Evidence from the 2007-2009 Survey
of Consumer Finances.” Working Paper, 2013.
Elliott, William; Nam, Ilsung; and Song, Hyun-a.
“Small-Dollar Accounts, Children’s College Outcomes,
and Wilt.” Children and Youth Services Review,
March 2013, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 535-47.
Elliott, William; and Nam, Ilsung. “Are Student Loans
Jeopardizing the Long-Term Financial Health of US
Households?” Working Paper, 2013.
Hatzius, Jan. “Beyond Leveraged Losses: The Balance
Sheet Effects of the Home Price Downturn.” Brookings
Papers on Economic Activity, Fall 2008, pp. 195-227.
International Monetary Fund. “Dealing with Household
Debt.” World Economic Outlook, Chap. 3, April 2012,
pp. 89-124.
Mian, Atif; and Sufi, Amir. “The Great Recession: Lessons
from Microeconomic Data.” American Economic
Review, May 2010, Vol. 100, No. 2, pp. 51-56.
Mian, Atif; and Sufi, Amir. “What Explains High Unemployment? The Aggregate Demand Channel.” NBER
Working Paper 17830, February 2012.
Mian, Atif; Rao, Kamalesh; and Sufi, Amir. “Household
Balance Sheets, Consumption, and the Economic
Slump.” Working Paper, February 2013.
Raskin, Sarah Bloom. “Aspects of Inequality in the Recent
Business Cycle.” Speech at the 22nd Annual Hyman P.
Minsky Conference on the State of the U.S. and World
Economies. New York, N.Y., April 18, 2013.
Reinhart, Carmen M.; and Rogoff, Kenneth S. This Time
Is Different. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University
Press, 2009.
Shapiro, Thomas M. The Hidden Cost of Being African
American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Sherraden, Michael; and Zhan, Min. “Assets and Liabilities, Educational Expectations, and Children’s College
Degree Attainment.” Children and Youth Services
Review, June 2011, Vol. 33, No. 6, pp. 846-54.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


Our People.
Our Work.
1,003 employees,

the majority of whom work at the District’s headquarters in St. Louis, with staff also located
at branches in Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis. All numbers in this section are for 2012.

116 state-chartered
banks were under our
supervision. The St. Louis
Fed also supervised 527
bank holding companies and 21 savings
and loan holding

20,400 Twitter followers
and 2,100 likes on Facebook.

Nearly 3 billion notes (currency) handled by our Cash
Operations department. As the bankers’ bank, the
St. Louis Fed received more than 39,000 deposits and
filled nearly 86,000 orders for U.S. currency.

10,400 business leaders and members of the general
public attended 169 speeches given outside the Bank
by Bank executives.
Six times, the Emergency Communications System was
activated for weather emergencies, including Hurricane Sandy. The system,
developed and run by the St. Louis Fed, is used by the Fed and by state
banking departments to notify depository institutions of operational status
in the event of natural or other disasters. More than 2,500 financial
institutions in 17 states were registered in the system last year.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

More than $30,000 in donations and
canned goods raised by employees of
the Bank in its annual drive—now in its
19th year—to benefit a local food bank.

The Bank’s Research department is ranked:
• No. 5 (out of 105) among central banks’ research
departments around the world,
• No. 30 (out of 1,270) of all U.S. research institutions and
• No. 46 (out of 6,062) of such institutions worldwide.
Based on RePEc/IDEAS rankings.

Nearly 5,000 students in the St. Louis metropolitan area were
taught the basics of saving during Teach Children to Save Day in April.
Volunteers from the St. Louis Fed and commercial banks in the area
brought the lessons to classrooms across the region.
The Export Matchmaker Trade Fair & Conference at the Bank in
October was co-sponsored by the Bank’s Community Development
department and by the U.S. Small Business Administration. More
than 150 small businesses and export companies sent
representatives. The event was one of 70 for the department; they
were attended by 6,000 people. In addition, the department held
more than 150 outreach meetings with community-based
organizations, municipal leaders, academics and financial institutions.

Our Research department had 40 papers either published
or accepted in peer-reviewed journals.

More than 61,000 data series in FRED®
(Federal Reserve Economic Data), our economics database that in 2012 was called

“the most amazing economics web site in the world.”
Business Insider, 2012
In March, the Treasury Relations and Support Office of the St. Louis Fed
worked on Treasury’s behalf to launch the Ready.Save.Grow. public
education campaign to promote Treasury’s vision of building a nation
of savers and to encourage saving with Treasury securities. At the end
of the year, Ready.Save.Grow. had 11,462 Facebook fans.

FRED® is a registered trademark of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

More than 11 million unique visitors from 226 countries and territories
to the St. Louis Fed-hosted web sites of RePEc (Research Papers in Economics).
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


... a trusted source for economic education

For the second year in a row, our Econ Ed department received
the Award of Excellence from Tech & Learning magazine.
The department was once again honored for its suite of online
economic education tools for teachers.

The St. Louis Fed’s Student Board of Directors, new in
2012, serves as a bridge between St. Louis-area schools and
the Fed. The dozen students meet every other month at the Fed
to discuss issues related to economics and personal finance;
they also listen to speakers on topics ranging from leadership
development to career planning.

By the end of December, more than $1.18
billion in savings to taxpayers was achieved as
a result of the Go Direct campaign, a Treasury
initiative to convert federal benefit payments,
like Social Security, to electronic delivery. The
Treasury Relations and Support Office at the
St. Louis Fed manages the Go Direct campaign.
During 2012, the campaign helped convert
2,688,586 paper payments to electronic
delivery, with the total for the life of the campaign as of December 2012 at 8,786,810.

399,330 enrollments of students in online courses
related to economic and personal finance education.

downloads of lesson plans by teachers.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

Employees who belong to FEVR (Fed Employee Volunteer
Resources) donate their time throughout the year to communitybetterment initiatives. They collect school supplies for needy children,
send care packages to troops overseas, mentor and tutor children and
adults, and work in soup kitchens, to cite a few examples. Above,
some members of the group took part in a community-wide effort to
clean up trash at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers
near St. Louis last spring.

23 million pageviews
to the Bank’s web sites.

The Bank was named a
Top 50 Business by the
St. Louis Regional Chamber.

28 summer interns. Their work at the Bank
culminated in an Intern Expo, at which they
showcased their projects to management.
The Community Development department’s biennial
Exploring Innovation Week attracted 300 people to five
events held in four major cities of the District. The
events focused on entrepreneurship, urbanization, arts as
an economic development tool, community development
finance and “livability” issues.

Six Dialogue with the Fed events,
including one in Spanish, attended by more
than 800 people and watched by many
more via webcast. The Dialogue series,
begun in 2011, offers the general public
an opportunity to discuss current financial
and economic topics with Fed experts.

64,200 subscribers to our periodicals.


Our Leaders.
Our Advisers.

he Federal Reserve’s decentralized structure—the
Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., and the

12 independent Reserve banks around the country—
ensures that the economic conditions of communities


and industries across the U.S. are taken into account in
deciding monetary policy. The members of our boards
St. Louis

of directors and of our advisory councils are among the


many voices of “Main Street” that we listen to. On the


following pages are current board members from each
of the four offices of the St. Louis Fed: St. Louis, Little
Rock, Louisville and Memphis. Members of our advi-



sory councils are also listed, as are officers of the Bank.


Little Rock

The Eighth Federal Reserve
District is composed of four
zones, each of which is centered
around one of the four main
cities: St. Louis, Little Rock,
Louisville and Memphis.

Finally, we salute those board members and advisory
council members who have retired recently.








Salt Lake City













Oklahoma City






Little Rock
Los Angeles


El Paso
San Antonio


American Samoa


The San Francisco Federal Reserve District serves Alaska, Hawaii, American
Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

New Orleans


Puerto Rico

U.S. Virgin Islands

The New York Federal Reserve District
serves the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Chairman’s Message

“The St. Louis Fed remains
a vibrant partner with its
customers, the community
and the country.”

s the U.S. economy continues to slowly grow out of
the depths of the 2007-2009 recession, I continue

regulatory responsibilities seriously and are fortunate to
have a best-in-class bank regulatory organization, one

to be impressed with the vital role the Federal Reserve

that not only regulates banks within the District but is a

System plays in nurturing this healing process, a role best

national leader in training other regulatory bodies.

exemplified by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Finally, the St. Louis Fed is the key coordinator of a

Foremost has been the implementation of a monetary

range of services provided to the U.S. Department of the

policy that has restored liquidity to the markets and that

Treasury on behalf of the entire Federal Reserve System.

has driven down interest rates in an effort to support

Our leadership in this area has been outstanding, as

investment and demand. Our president, James Bullard,

evident by the extraordinary approval rankings from this

has been a key contributor to this process, and his effec-

key customer and by the expanded range of services the

tiveness has been enhanced by the insights of the Eighth

Federal Reserve System is providing to the Treasury.

District’s impressive team of economists and analysts.

The St. Louis Fed remains a vibrant partner with its

The St. Louis Fed is an economic research powerhouse—

customers, the community and the country. On behalf of

highly ranked, not just in the Federal Reserve System

the board of directors, whose job is oversight, I thank the

but in the world. What better basis from which to guide

Bank’s executives for their outstanding leadership, and I

monetary policy?

thank all the Bank’s colleagues for their dedication and

Explaining monetary policy, and how it works within


the broader economy, is vital to the policy’s effectiveness.
Fortunately, the Eighth District is blessed with a group


of dedicated professionals who are adept at communicating this Bank’s role in shaping the economy. Assisting
the president in his communication role, reaching out
to business and community leaders, and implementing

Ward M. Klein

community-wide programs are just some of the functions

Chairman of the Board of Directors

of our outstanding public affairs organization.
Ensuring that the banking system is sound is yet
another important job of the St. Louis Fed. We take our
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


St. Louis Board


Deputy Chairman

William E. Chappel

Gregory M. Duckett

Sonja Yates Hubbard

Ward M. Klein

Sharon D. Fiehler

Energizer Holdings Inc.
St. Louis

Executive Vice President
and Chief Administrative Officer
Peabody Energy
St. Louis

President and CEO
The First National Bank
Vandalia, Ill.

Senior Vice President
and Corporate Counsel
Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.
Memphis, Tenn.

E-Z Mart Stores Inc.
Texarkana, Texas

Robert G. Jones

Cal McCastlain

George Paz

Susan S. Stephenson

President and CEO
Old National Bancorp
Evansville, Ind.

Dover Dixon Horne PLLC
Little Rock, Ark.

Chairman, President and CEO
Express Scripts
St. Louis

Co-chairman and President
Independent Bank
Memphis, Tenn.

© corbis

© Steve Geer, istock

© Kent Steffens, istock

© pawel gaul, getty images


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

© Jeremy Edwards, istock

Little Rock Board


Michael A. Cook

Mary Ann Greenwood

Senior Vice President
and Assistant Treasurer
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Bentonville, Ark.

Chairman and Investment Adviser
Greenwood Gearhart Inc.
Fayetteville, Ark.

Robert Martinez

Kaleybra Mitchell Morehead

Mark D. Ross

Rancho La Esperanza
De Queen, Ark.

Vice President for College Affairs/
Southeast Arkansas College
Pine Bluff, Ark.

Chief Operating Officer
Bank of the Ozarks
Little Rock, Ark.

Ray C. Dillon
President and CEO
Deltic Timber Corp.
El Dorado, Ark.

Ronald B. Jackson
Chairman and CEO
Simmons First Bank of Russellville
Russellville, Ark.

Robert A. Hopkins
Regional Executive
Little Rock Branch
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


Louisville Board

Gerald R. Martin
Vice President
River Hill Capital LLC
Louisville, Ky.

Malcolm Bryant

David P. Heintzman

Jon A. Lawson

The Malcolm Bryant Corp.
Owensboro, Ky.

Chairman and CEO
Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co.
Louisville, Ky.

President, CEO and Chairman
Bank of Ohio County
Beaver Dam, Ky.

Susan E. Parsons

Gary A. Ransdell

Kevin Shurn

Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Ky.

President and Owner
Superior Maintenance Co.
Elizabethtown, Ky.

Chief Financial Officer,
Secretary and Treasurer
Koch Enterprises Inc.
Evansville, Ind.

© shutterstock

Maria G. Hampton
Regional Executive
Louisville Branch
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

Memphis Board


Roy Molitor Ford Jr.

Mark P. Fowler

Lisa McDaniel Hawkins

Charles S. Blatteis

Vice Chairman and CEO
Commercial Bank and Trust Co.
Memphis, Tenn.

Vice Chairman
Liberty Bank of Arkansas
Jonesboro, Ark.

Room to Room Inc.
Tupelo, Miss.

Managing Member
Blatteis Law Firm PLLC
Memphis, Tenn.

Lawrence C. Long

Clyde Warren Nunn

Charlie E. Thomas III

St. Rest Planting Co.
Indianola, Miss.

Chairman and President
Security Bancorp of Tennessee Inc.
Halls, Tenn.

Regional Director
of External and Legislative Affairs
AT&T Tennessee
Memphis, Tenn.

Martha Perine Beard
Regional Executive
Memphis Branch
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


Industry Councils
Council members represent a wide range of Eighth District businesses
from four key industries and periodically report on economic
conditions to help inform monetary policy deliberations.

Based in Little Rock, Ark.

Health Care
Based in Louisville, Ky.

Real Estate
Based in St. Louis

Based in Memphis, Tenn.

Sam J. Fiorello
Chief Operating Officer
and Senior Vice President
Donald Danforth Plant
Science Center
St. Louis

Calvin Anderson
Chief of Staff and
Senior Vice President
of Corporate Affairs
Blue Cross Blue Shield
of Tennessee

Joseph D. Hegger
Jeffrey E. Smith Institute
of Real Estate
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, Mo.

Bob Blocker
Senior VP Sales and Customer Service
American Commercial Lines
Jeffersonville, Ind.

Timothy J. Gallagher
Executive Vice President
Bunge North America Inc.
St. Louis
Keith Glover
President and CEO
Producers Rice Mill Inc.
Stuttgart, Ark.
Bert Greenwalt
Professor of Agricultural Economics
Arkansas State University
Jonesboro, Ark.
Leonard J. Guarraia
World Agricultural Forum
St. Louis
Richard M. Jameson
Jameson Family Farms Partnership
Brownsville, Tenn.
John C. King III
King Farms
Helena, Ark.
Lyle B. Waller II
L.B. Waller and Co.
Morganfield, Ky.

Steven J. Bares
President and Executive Director
Memphis Bioworks Foundation
Jeffrey B. Bringardner
President of Kentucky Market
Humana-Kentucky Inc.
Paul Halverson, M.D.
Director, State Health Officer
Arkansas Department of Health
Little Rock
Susan L. Lang
St. Louis
Rich A. Lechleiter
Chief Financial Officer
Kindred Healthcare Inc.
Dixie L. Platt
Senior Vice President
Mission and External Relations
SSM Health Care
St. Louis
Stephen A. Williams
President and CEO
Norton Healthcare

Janet Horlacher
Principal and Executive Vice President
Janet McAfee Inc.
St. Louis
J. Scott Jagoe
Jagoe Homes Inc.
Owensboro, Ky.
Larry K. Jensen
President and CEO
Commercial Advisors LLC
Chuck Kavanaugh
Executive Vice President
Home Builders Association of Louisville
Gregory J. Kozicz
President and CEO
Alberici Corp.
St. Louis
Jack McCray
Managing Director
KW Commercial Little Rock
Little Rock
William M. Mitchell
Vice President and Principal Broker
Crye-Leike Realtors
Lynn B. Schenck
Executive Vice President and
Director of Leasing and Sales
Jones Lang LaSalle
St. Louis
E. Phillip Scherer III
Commercial Kentucky Inc.
Mary R. Singer
CresaPartners Commercial Realty Group


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

Charles L. Ewing Sr.
Ewing Moving Service and Storage Inc.
Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge
Director of Airports
Lambert International Airport
St. Louis
Richard McClure
UniGroup Inc.
St. Louis
Judy R. McReynolds
President and CEO
Arkansas Best Corp.
Fort Smith, Ark.
Mitch Nichols
UPS Airlines
Dennis B. Oakley
Bruce Oakley Inc.
North Little Rock, Ark.
John F. Pickering
Chief Operations Officer
Cass Information Systems Inc.
Bridgeton, Mo.
David L. Summitt
Summitt Trucking LLC
Clarksville, Ind.
Paul Wellhausen
Lewis and Clark Marine
Granite City, Ill.

Community Development
Advisory Council

Community Depository
Institutions Advisory Council

The council keeps the Bank’s president and staff informed about
community development in the Eighth District and suggests ways
for the Bank to support local development efforts.

The members meet twice a year to advise the Bank’s president on the
credit, banking and economic conditions facing their institutions and
communities. The council’s chairman also meets twice a year in Washington, D.C., with his counterparts from the 11 other Fed districts and
with the Federal Reserve chairman.

Joe W. Barker
Executive Director
Southwest Tennessee
Development District
Jackson, Tenn.

Glenn D. Barks
President and CEO
First Community Credit Union
Chesterfield, Mo.

Whitney Bishop
Executive Director
Southern Indiana Asset
Building Coalition
Jeffersonville, Ind.
Tamika Edwards
Director of Public Policy
Southern Bancorp
Community Partners
Little Rock, Ark.
Brian Fogle
President and CEO
Community Foundation
of the Ozarks
Springfield, Mo.
George Hartsfield
Community Volunteer
Jefferson City, Mo.
David Howard Jr.
Vice President of Equity
Federation of Appalachian
Housing Enterprises Inc.
Berea, Ky.
Edgardo Mansilla
Executive Director
Americana Community Center
Louisville, Ky.
Paulette Meikle
Chair and Associate Professor
Delta State University
Cleveland, Miss.
Joe Neri

Ines Polonius
Executive Director
Pine Bluff, Ark.
Eric Robertson
Community LIFT
Memphis, Tenn.

Kirk P. Bailey
Magna Bank
Memphis, Tenn.

Royce Sutton
Vice President,
Community Development Manager
Fifth Third Bank
St. Louis

Carolyn “Betsy” Flynn
President and CEO
Community Financial Services Bank
Benton, Ky.

Elizabeth Trotter
Senior Vice President/CRA Director
Lafayette, La.

H. David Hale
Chairman, President and CEO
First Capital Bank of Kentucky
Louisville, Ky.

Keith Turbett
First Vice President
Community Development Manager
Memphis and Nashville Regions
SunTrust Bank
Memphis, Tenn.

Gary E. Metzger
Liberty Bank
Springfield, Mo.

Cary Tyson
Assistant Director
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Little Rock, Ark.
Johanna Wharton
Executive Vice President
Grace Hill Settlement House
St. Louis
Deborah Williams
Chief Executive Officer
Bowling Green, Ky.

Larry W. Myers
President and CEO
First Savings Bank
Clarksville, Ind.

Frank M. Padak
President, CEO and Treasurer
Scott Credit Union
Collinsville, Ill.
Mark A. Schroeder
Chairman and CEO
German American Bancorp
Jasper, Ind.
Steve Stafford
President and CEO
First National Bank in Green Forest
Green Forest, Ark.
Gordon Waller
President and CEO
First State Bank & Trust
Caruthersville, Mo.
Larry T. Wilson
President and CEO
First Arkansas Bank & Trust
Jacksonville, Ark.
Vance Witt
Chairman and CEO
BNA Bank
New Albany, Miss.

Federal Advisory
Council Member
The council is composed of one representative from each of the
12 Federal Reserve districts. Members confer with the Fed’s Board
of Governors at least four times a year on economic and banking
developments and make recommendations on Fed System activities.
D. Bryan Jordan
Chairman, President and CEO
First Horizon National Corp.
Memphis, Tenn.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


Management Committee


James Bullard

David A. Sapenaro

Karl W. Ashman

President and CEO

First Vice President and COO

Senior Vice President
Administration and Payments

Karen L. Branding

Cletus C. Coughlin

Mary H. Karr

Senior Vice President
Public Affairs

Senior Vice President
and Policy Adviser to the

Senior Vice President,
General Counsel and Secretary

Kathleen O’Neill Paese

Julie L. Stackhouse

Christopher J. Waller

Senior Vice President
Treasury Services

Senior Vice President
Banking Supervision, Credit,
Community Development
and Learning Innovation

Senior Vice President
and Director of Research

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

Bank Officers
James Bullard
President and CEO
David A. Sapenaro
First Vice President and COO
Karl W. Ashman
Senior Vice President
Karen L. Branding
Senior Vice President
Cletus C. Coughlin
Senior Vice President
and Policy Adviser to the President

Roy A. Hendin
Vice President, Deputy General Counsel
and Assistant Corporate Secretary
James L. Huang
Vice President
Debra E. Johnson
Vice President
Vicki L. Kosydor
Vice President
Michael J. Mueller
Vice President
James A. Price
Vice President

Mary H. Karr
Senior Vice President,
General Counsel and Secretary

B. Ravikumar
Vice President

Kathleen O’Neill Paese
Senior Vice President

Daniel L. Thornton
Vice President

Michael D. Renfro
Senior Vice President
and General Auditor

Matthew W. Torbett
Vice President

Julie L. Stackhouse
Senior Vice President
Christopher J. Waller
Senior Vice President
and Director of Research
Richard G. Anderson
Vice President
David Andolfatto
Vice President
Jonathan C. Basden
Vice President
Timothy A. Bosch
Vice President
Timothy C. Brown
Vice President
Marilyn K. Corona
Vice President
Susan K. Curry
Vice President
Kathy A. Freeman
Vice President, Director
of Office of Minority
and Women Inclusion
William T. Gavin
Vice President
Susan F. Gerker
Vice President
Anna M. Helmering Hart
Vice President

Scott M. Trilling
Vice President
David C. Wheelock
Vice President
Jane Anne Batjer
Assistant Vice President
Diane E. Berry
Assistant Vice President
Dennis W. Blase
Assistant Vice President
Winchell S. Carroll
Assistant Vice President
Hillary B. Debenport
Assistant Vice President
William R. Emmons
Assistant Vice President
William M. Francis
Assistant Vice President
Mary C. Francone
Assistant Vice President
James W. Fuchs
Assistant Vice President
Timothy R. Heckler
Assistant Vice President
Paul M. Helmich
Assistant Vice President
Cathryn L. Hohl
Assistant Vice President
Joel H. James
Assistant Vice President

Visweswara R. Kaza
Assistant Vice President

Patricia M. Goessling
Treasury Officer

Catherine A. Kusmer
Assistant Vice President

Stephen P. Greene
Public Affairs Officer

Michael Z. Markiewicz
Assistant Vice President

Karen L. Harper
Treasury Officer

Michael W. McCracken
Assistant Vice President

Terri L. Kirchhofer
Audit Officer and Assistant General Auditor

Raymond McIntyre
Assistant Vice President

Kevin L. Kliesen
Research Officer

Christopher J. Neely
Assistant Vice President

Jackie S. Martin
Support Services Officer

Arthur A. North II
Assistant Vice President

Alexander Monge-Naranjo
Research Officer

Glen M. Owens
Assistant Vice President

Michael Thomas Owyang
Research Officer

Kathy A. Schildknecht
Assistant Vice President

Jennifer L. Robinson
Financial Management Officer

Philip G. Schlueter
Assistant Vice President

Abby L. Schafers
Human Resources Officer

Scott B. Smith
Assistant Vice President

Yvonne S. Sparks
Community Development Officer

Katrina L. Stierholz
Assistant Vice President

Rebecca M. Stoltz
Information Technology Officer

Kristina L.C. Stierholz
Assistant Vice President

Mary C. Suiter
Economic Education Officer

James L. Warren
Assistant Vice President

Donald J. Trankler
Information Technology Officer

Yi Wen
Assistant Vice President
Carl D. White II
Assistant Vice President

Robert A. Hopkins
Regional Executive

Marcela M. Williams
Assistant Vice President
Christian M. Zimmermann
Assistant Vice President
Subhayu Bandyopadhyay
Research Officer
Heidi L. Beyer
Research Officer

Maria G. Hampton
Regional Executive
Ronald L. Byrne
Vice President

Cassie R. Blackwell
Treasury Officer


Ray Boshara
Community Development Policy Officer

Martha L. Perine Beard
Regional Executive

Adam L. Brown
Information Technology Officer

Ranada Y. Williams
Assistant Vice President

Carlos Garriga
Research Officer
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


Retirees from the Boards of Directors
and Advisory Councils
We bid farewell and express our gratitude to those members of the
boards of directors and of our advisory councils who retired recently.
From the Boards of Directors
Little Rock
William C. Scholl
C. Sam Walls
Barbara Ann Popp
Allegra C. Brigham
From the Industry Councils
Ted Huber
Steven Turner
David Williams
Health Care
Kevin Bramer
Robert Gordon
Russell Harrington
Richard Pierson
Jan Vest

From the Community
Development Advisory Council
The Rev. Adrian Brooks
Brian Dabson
Trinita Logue
Sara Oliver
Kevin Smith
Emily Trenholm
Sherece West

From the Community
Depository Institutions
Advisory Council
D. Keith Hefner
William J. Rissel
Dennis M. Terry
Larry Ziglar

Real Estate
Steven Lane
Gene Huang


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | Annual Report 2012

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is one of 12 regional Reserve
banks that, together with the Board of Governors, make up the
nation’s central bank. The St. Louis Fed serves the Eighth Federal
Reserve District, which includes all of Arkansas, eastern Missouri,
southern Illinois and Indiana, western Kentucky and Tennessee,
and northern Mississippi. The Eighth District offices are in St. Louis,
Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Louisville Branch

One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza
Broadway and Locust Street
St. Louis, MO 63102

National City Tower
101 S. Fifth St., Suite 1920
Louisville, KY 40202

Little Rock Branch

Memphis Branch

Stephens Building
111 Center St., Suite 1000
Little Rock, AR 72201

200 N. Main St.
Memphis, TN 38103

Al Stamborski
Joni Williams
Eva Vazquez
Mark Gilliland
Kevin Manning
Steve Smith

For additional copies, contact:
Public Affairs
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Post Office Box 442
St. Louis, MO 63166
Or e-mail
This report is also available online at:

printed on recycled paper using 10% postconsumer waste

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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis |


Free Resources on the Economy, Economics and Personal Finance
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers a wealth of information on these topics in a variety of formats. We
have something for everyone—researchers, teachers, business executives, market analysts, policymakers, bankers,
community developers, students and, of course, the general public. Our information is available on paper, online
and on your phone or tablet. Below is a small sample of what we offer. For more, see
More than 61,000 data series are available in FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data),
our signature database. See
Our periodicals range from short newsletters to journals for academics. All can be read online,
and some are available through the mail. For a list, see
The Econ Lowdown provides the basics—and then some—on economics and personal finance.
Our Economic Education department provides mini courses, videos, podcasts, lesson plans, publications and more.
On the FOMC Speak web site and app, you can find in one spot public speeches, testimony, interviews and
commentary for all participants of the Federal Open Market Committee. See
The Fed offers many opportunities to meet face-to-face. One of the newest is Dialogue with the Fed:
Beyond Today’s Financial Headlines. This evening series brings together Fed experts and the general
public to discuss economic and financial issues of the day. See
Delve into FRASER, our digital library of archival documents, data and publications documenting the history of the
Federal Reserve and the economic history of the United States back to the 1700s. See