Fisher College invited to the New England Fed Challenge

Fed Challenge Group Photo

On Friday, November 8, 2019, for the first time since the competition’s inception, Fisher College was invited to participate in the New England Fed Challenge Regional Competition held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - a national team competition for undergraduate students.

Fisher students Mousa Alafifi (‘20 Management), Neil Avelino (‘21 Finance), Laye Coumbassa (‘20 Management), Rey Familia (‘20 Accounting & Finance), and (Scott Nichols ’21 Finance) acted as members of the Federal Open Market Committee. Rick Ng (’21 Finance) served as team alternate and video-maker. Their committee analyzed current economic and financial conditions, addressed opportunities and risks for the economy and formulated a monetary policy recommendation. Their presentation culminated with a defense of their recommendation before a panel of judges.

The students were ready for the competition; and the competition was fierce – competition included teams from Harvard, Yale, and 23 additional schools from the region.

“Fisher’s team truly represented the College in a great way,” said Dr. John Hogan. Assistant Professor and Program Director for the Finance Concentration. “Going up against seasoned institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Tufts, Bentley and others – Alafifi, Avelino, Coumbassa, Familia, and Nichols stood up to the tough competition and proved they deserved to be there.”

While Fisher’s team did not win the regional qualifier (Harvard, the winning team, will go on to the national championship in Washington D.C. to represent the district), each student came away with an incredible amount of knowledge and experience.

Mousa and Rey

Mousa Alafifi '20 & Rey Familia '20

“Debating and defending our economic policy recommendations in front of those that help to shape economic decisions for the nation was inspiring,” said Mousa Alafifi ’20, Management. “My [team’s] confidence and enthusiasm grew through our practice sessions and ultimately we expanded our networks with fellow students.”

What was the team’s ultimate recommendation? Economic growth is doing well at the moment, but the team suggested a cautious approach:

“We need to maintain an easy monetary policy …in terms of providing sufficiently low interest rates and a substantial money supply via moderate quantitative easing,” said Neil Avelino ’21, Finance.

In the end, the competition was a rewarding and lasting experience for the team.

“All the research – papers, news articles about economic decisions made on the Federal level really opened our eyes to how things work, said Rey Familia ’20, Accounting and Finance. “Watching our economy grow or shrink in real time, and understanding why – that’s the real takeaway.”

To learn more about Fisher's Finance Program, please visit the program page HERE