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Economy and Business

Cleveland Federal Reserve chief is optimistic about U.S. financial system
Despite looming debate over how to get the nation's financial system back on a sustainable track, the head of Cleveland's Federal Reserve says she's optimistic.
Story by BILL RICE

In The Region:

The head of the Cleveland Federal Reserve says she's optimistic that a consensus will emerge to put the nation's financial system back on a sustainable track. But, she says, but there's still a lot of debate ahead. Bill Rice of Ohio Public Radio Station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

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Sandra Pianalto, who is retiring as Cleveland Fed CEO next year, gave the opening keynote address Thursday at a two-day Policy Summit held jointly each year by the Cleveland and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Banks.

Pianalto told the group of several hundred people that building consensus is the surest way to a satisfactory recovery from the financial crisis of 2008.  She said debate over and ultimate passage of the financial regulations law known as Dodd Frank drew a lot of emotional response about the role of government in capital markets.

“The challenge now is for the financial services industry and the communities and consumers that it serves to move past the entrenched positions and instead work together to find new solutions," Pianalto said.  "I’m optimistic, because I do see and have seen people with very different viewpoints come together to enact policies that have substantial benefits.”

She notes as an example the gradual coming around to the notion that rehabbing houses wasn’t the only way to solve communities’ foreclosure problems. Demolition was also an option, although it's an idea that’s only recently become more mainstream.

The Fed’s Policy Summit on Housing, Human Capital and inequality continues Friday at the Intercontinental Hotel and Conference Center in Cleveland.

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