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Dartmouth team places second in the regional Fed Challenge competition

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/21/08 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp • (603) 646-3661

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A team of Dartmouth students recently placed second in the District 1 College Fed Challenge, a national intercollegiate competition in the field of economics. The competition, held Nov. 17 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, featured 17 New England teams. After two rounds of debate-style deliberation, the judges declared first place for the Harvard team, and Dartmouth’s team took second.

Team coach Frank Zarnowski, Corey Eng, Greg Rolfes, Henry Stewart, Ting Cui , and Joe Huston.
L-R: Team coach Frank Zarnowski, Corey Eng, Greg Rolfes, Henry Stewart, Ting Cui , and Joe Huston. (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

“It was very close,” says team coach Frank Zarnowski, a visiting professor of economics at Dartmouth. “I think District 1is the most competitive nationally, and I’m very proud of our team for their incredible performance.”

This was the first time in the Fed Challenge for Joe Huston ’10, from San Antonio, Texas. He feels that, given the current state of the U.S. economy, it’s important to understand how it works. “Responding to crises like our current one is not an exact science,” said Huston. “People like to talk about the economy as if there are obvious problems or solutions and the Fed just has to stop being obstinate to solve things. But the truth is a wide variety of responses to the problem can be justified depending on your assumptions.”

According to team member Corey Eng ’10, a second-time Fed Challenge competitor from Forest Hills, N.Y., the team practiced their 20-minute presentation, on which they would be judged, over and over again. Professor Zarnowski asked questions and tested the group’s knowledge of macroeconomic concepts. “The most important work, however, is done individually,” said Eng. “We all try to keep up to date with the latest economic news, speeches, and reports. I find that I learn most through reading blogs, which not only offer insight and analysis, but also force you to discern what you think is appropriate or accurate for the situation at hand.”

Other members of the team included Greg Rolfes ’09 from Cincinnati, Ohio; Ting Cui ’10 from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; and Henry Stewart ’12 from Milwaukee, Wisc.

“Doing the Fed Challenge really prepares you for a myriad of things,” said Eng. “You learn to think quickly on your feet, but also, because the Fed Challenge requires such a broad-based knowledge of the economy and financial markets, you really become well versed in almost all facets of finance and economics, things like the history of the fed, and more obscure theories like inflation targeting, interest rate discrepancies and transmission mechanisms, for example.”

The winners of the regional competitions are invited to compete in the National Fed Challenge, held this year on Dec. 2 in Washington, DC.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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