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Fed Reserve speakers to focus on mortgage woes, ailing economy

In these times of economic uncertainty, it is important for the business community to obtain objective, accurate information so as to make sound decisions. And, that is what the speakers at the Mississippi Economic Forum propose to offer.

The Mississippi Economic Forum is a joint venture of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University (MSU) and MSU’s College of Business. It will be held June 25 at the University Club in downtown Jackson.

The featured presenters will be two officers with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, one of 12 Federal Reserve banks that make up the Federal Reserve System. (St. Louis is the headquarters of the Eighth Federal District, which encompasses North Mississippi.) Julie Stackhouse, senior vice president, will discuss “The Mortgage Crisis.”

Joining Stackhouse will be William R. Emmons, supervisory officer and economist in the Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He will present an “Overview of the Local and National Economy.”

Where do you live?

Stackhouse says the two were urged to come by Commissioner John Allison of the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance. She says Allison thought she and Emmons, both first-time visitors to Jackson, could offer a true regional economic snapshot.

Stackhouse says she hopes attendees will take away one important message about the current mortgage industry woes.

“It depends on where you live,” she says. “I want to take a step back and at the mortgage industry since August. It has definitely affected not only the housing market, but also the financial market. But at the same time, some areas are more affected than others. It is not the same everywhere.”

Stackhouse adds that Mississippi is one of those areas less affected by the mortgage industry troubles compared to other parts of the country.

At the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Stackhouse is responsible for the safety and soundness and consumer compliance field examination activities and related support functions for the Eighth District’s 97 state-member banks and 614 bank and financial holding companies. She also oversees the District’s discount window and credit risk management functions along with the activities of the Federal Reserve’s Center for On-Line Learning.

Prior to joining the St. Louis Fed in September 2002, Stackhouse was vice president and managing officer of the Risk Management Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. She also served as the Minneapolis Fed’s community affairs officer. In addition, Stackhouse was formerly an officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City prior to relocating to Minnesota in 1995. She served in many capacities in the Kansas City banking supervision and risk management areas, starting as an examiner in 1980.

She holds a B.S. degree in business administration from Drake University. Stackhouse is also a graduate of the Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking.

She currently serves as a trustee on the St. Louis Area Board of the Missouri Council on Economic Education and as a board member of the Gateway Chapter of National Charity League.

Keeping context

Mississippi is better off than other areas of the nation will also be a large part of Emmons’ message on the local and national economy. And, a primary reason Emmons will offer is a less turbulent local mortgage environment.

“Mississippi’s economy is weak right now, but compared to the national economy it is doing well,” Emmons says. He adds that Mississippi’s economy doesn’t see the peaks and valleys, and, thus, often does well when the national economy is faltering.

Emmons is certainly qualified to give sound economic information. As supervisory officer and economist, he carries out research and policy analysis in the areas of banking, financial markets and financial regulation.

Emmons also serves as an adjunct professor of finance in the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis and as a lecturer in the St. Louis University School of Law.

Prior to joining the Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation, Emmons served as an economist in the Research Division of the St. Louis Fed. Previously, he was on the faculty of the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H.

He received his Ph.D. in finance from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Emmons says he hopes his and Stackhouse’s presentation will “keep things in perspective. The economy is cyclical. It will come back. Hopefully, it won’t be too lengthy.”

For more information on the Mississippi Economic Forum, call Philip Pierce at (601) 906-5501.

Contact MBJ staff writer Wally Northway at wally.northway@msbusiness.com.

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