Federal Reserve Bank president/CEO attends Real Estate Center Roundtable

Raphael Bostic touches on interest rates, inflation, housing prices and other economic topics

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President and CEO Raphael Bostic headlined the University of Cincinnati Real Estate Center’s March Roundtable, held March 25 at the Westin Cincinnati.

Bostic, who has served as the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s president and chief executive officer since June 5, 2017, and Gary Painter, PhD, BEARE Chair and professor of real estate, held a 70-minute conversation centered around equitable economic development and featured a lengthy Q&A period with audience members. More than 300 attendees packed the Westin’s Presidential Ballroom, including over 80 real estate students, the largest-ever student attendance for a Real Estate Center event.


The Roundtable concluded with Raphael Bostic addressing the 80-plus real estate students in attendance, pictured here with real estate staff and faculty.

Bostic and Painter’s dialogue included, but was not limited to, the following subjects:

Bostic: “I often say maximum sustainable employment. It makes me think more holistically about how the economy is performing. ... When I travel, I see people for whom the economy is not working. I take a catalog of those things, and I talk to policymakers as much as I can to make sure they are aware of these barriers. The more the economy works for everyone, the easier our job gets. The economy will be bigger, stronger and more resilient. And, ultimately, that’s where we’re trying to get.”

Bostic: “I didn't have a recession in my outlook. My expectation was that the economy was going to slow gradually, which would mean that inflation would slow gradually. Those two would go hand in hand. My initial outlook a year ago was that it would take several years for us to get to our 2% target because that momentum would just continually be there, and it would take some time. In the last six months of 2023, we saw inflation drop very fast, while the economy was quite strong and more resilient than I expected. But we’re not out of the woods yet, and things are likely to be bumpy. The inflation readings for the last several months have borne that out. As long as the economy is strong, as long as GDP is high, as long as businesses are hiring and folks have jobs, I'm not in a hurry to get inflation down to 2%.”

Bostic: “In the eight, nine years after the great financial crisis, the U.S. economy went on an expanded growth period, one of the longer periods we've seen of positive growth. Economists did research, and they found that when the economy grows long, people who have been historically disconnected get more jobs, and they stay in those jobs. It was the length of the success there that was particularly important. To me, that says if we do our job well, it sets the foundation for the economy to work for everyone.”


Equitable economic development was the theme of conversation between Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President and CEO Raphael Bostic (left) and Gary Painter, PhD, BEARE Chair and Professor of Real Estate.

The audience Q&A session including the following subjects:

  • The Fed reducing its balance sheet.
  • The Fed navigating social and political dynamics in the U.S.
  • Bostic’s view on the alleged disconnect between Americans’ views on the economy and the economy’s objective performance.
  • Monetary policy as it relates to the commercial real estate market.
  • Quantitative easing vs. quantitative tightening.
  • The Fed's view on digital currency.
  • Why the Fed is focused on 2% for its inflation target.
  • Comparing the U.S. economy to economies around the world.
  • Labor participation and minimum wage.
  • Housing prices’ sensitivity to consumption.

Bostic closed his time on stage with a message for the Lindner and UC students in attendance.

“I hope you come to these events continually and have a goal to meet at least two or three new people every time. The greatest value that exists in this industry is a network of people that you know. There’s a lot of wisdom in this room that can help you figure out your pathway.”

Up next: April Roundtable

The Real Estate Center’s next Roundtable event is slated for April 12 at Cooper Creek Event Center with CREW Cincinnati. The following panelists will explore the future of Cincinnati and the region:

  • Andy Conklin, executive vice president, Visit Cincy
  • Brendon Cull, president and CEO, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
  • Scott Dust, PhD, associate professor of management and Fealy Family Endowed Chair, University of Cincinnati Center for Entrepreneurship  
  • Kimm Lauterbach, president and CEO, Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati

Registration closes April 10 at 5 p.m.

Featured image at top (from left): UC Real Estate Center Executive Director Carl Goertemoeller, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President/CEO Raphael Bostic, BEARE Board Chair Mario San Marco, and Gary Painter, PhD, BEARE Chair and Professor of Real Estate. Photos/Joe Fuqua.

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