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WHAT DO VE DO IN RESEARCH?
by Karl R. Bopp
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
before
Federal Reserve Pioneers
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Whittier Room
September 29, 1955

Introduction:
Deeply honored vhen Qus Kress asked me to speak.
I am only - to use an expression that WJD used on Bob Hilkert
last year - a half assed Pioneer.
let I feel inadequate to the job.
As a professional economist I am - and we use big words a psycho-ceramic
crack-pot I
Usual to have a discussion of the Retirement System and changes
in it. On this, I can say only - though it is important - that
the System has engaged an independent group of experts to make a
thorough stucty of our entire system (Industrial Relations Counsellors)
and to make comparisons with other private systems. That study is
now in progress.
Gus didn't give me a topic, and I have prepared at least half-adozen speeches for this occasion.
Speech I - Pioneers suggests taking a long view
economic possibilities of our grandchildren
Wage and salary receipts
1930
$4 6 billion
.
1955
215
"
Let them take care of themselves




II - Rehash a recent speech
III - Developed introductory remarks at Columbia University
- a word or two about you as individuals
e.g. Charlie Sherman - whiz on finding differences
3/23A ? —? 7/5A8
Out following up his
12/16/18 — >
first difference
(practicing making a hole in 1 in the dark)
Then I found many on whom I had stories, including
Charlie, wouldn't be here.

- 2 -

IV.

Lampoon fellow officers
e.g.

Dick Viigus - Texas trick or treat.

Itfs my treat

Ernie Hill came 7A/21 - He still has 4 pennies of
the first nickel he ever earned. Has 4 1921 pennies
in his coin collection - and for a small admission
will show them to you.
Jim Vergari - watch his weight to predict future of business.
Bob Hilkert out with the Boy Scouts lest you think
him reacty- to retire.
V.

Contributions you have made
- you are the backbone of the Bank
e.g.

Olga Matuck - who designed your emblem and who has
brought beauty and creative activity to so many Bank people
- But would miss many*

Then remembered
Alex dePutron* s famous conversation with Harold Hat, who is
not to be confused with Harry "the Hat" Walker or
David "the Hat" Noonen.
First opportunity to defend myself.
Have to wait a long time in Research for rebuttals but one
needs PATIENCE in research

What do we do in Research?




1.

Why have economic research?
Philadelphia National tad First Pennsylvania Co. don*t have

2.

We are a central bank - as you know
One of our less visible jobs

3.

Decisions based on
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Hunch
Communion with burning bush
Impressions
Intuition
On basis of solid facts

-

3 -

The Jobs to be done
1.

Areas to cover - releases reflect

2.

Collection of original data
a.

Enlisting respondents

new firms
b. Getting data on time
c. Establishing accuracy of raw data - classification
3.

Combining individual reports
a.

Confidentiality of individual reports

b.

The sample and the universe
% change vs. blowup
(Literary Digest ended)
Bank mergers
Philadelphia (metropolitan)
center city
outlying

(securing response)
c.
d.

(Importance of accuracy - Dept, store buyers* salaries

U*

Releases

5.

Interpreting the data
Seasonals (Dept. Stores)

6.

Analytical research
Directed research a contradiction in terms
An economist:

Textbook, wired for sound

Write so people will read!
Must be accurate
Must sey something
7.

Public education

a.
b.

Field meetings
Banking schools

c.

Adult education general ly

d.

Business Review

S.

Policy recommendations

9*

The morning telephone call

10.

Some headaches
Dealing with the press
Leaning vs. the breezes

A final story




He always knows when

to stop