Sep 19, 2016

    Do you think you can do better than Yellen?


    FED up with the endless talk about interest rates and inflation? Think economic growth could be faster?

    Think you can do monetary policy better than Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen?

    Then, try Chair The Fed, an online game that challenges your ability to manage an economy.

    The game puts your hand on the interest rate lever and tests how effective you would be managing unemployment and inflation - and whether you are ready to remove the punch bowl just as the party gets going.

    The game was put online as a tool for economics and other students by the Fed's San Francisco branch.

    "Our hope is that the Chair The Fed game will inspire students of all ages to take an interest in monetary policy and its role in the United States economy," said Jody Hoff, director of education and outreach at the San Francisco Fed.

    As the newly appointed Fed chair, the player has to figure out if the momentum in inflation at, say, 2.3 per cent, requires a pre-emptive rate rise, or how far to cut rates as joblessness edges above 5 per cent.

    As a rate decision is posed each quarter, you meanwhile are buffeted by alternating comforting and unnerving headlines such as "Tight job market suggests more inflation ahead", "Economy in contractionary spiral" or "Uncontrolled economic boom signals problems".

    The game gives you a Fed Chair's normal four-year term to keep both joblessness and inflation stable.

    If you fail, it delivers the message: "Because of disappointing economic results, you have not been reappointed."