Economic Insights 2021 Q2

by Brendan Barry

Economic Insights is a quarterly publication from the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia with a print distribution of 1100 and .pdfs made freely available to non-subscribers on the Bank's website. Economists and research analysts write non-technical articles about monetary policy, banking, and national, regional, and international economics intended for a wide audience.
For our 2022 edition we chose a continuing theme for our four covers with which we wanted to tell the story of Philadelphia's role in the history of central banking in the United States. The second quarter of our publication featured a cover with an illustration of the First Bank of the United States (1782–1811). After a long history in banking, the building today still stands as part of Independence National Historic Park.
Our first article dove into the idea of increasing market concentration. We opted for a violent photo of a big fish eating a little fish to address the concept. A few graphics detailed the increasing market concentration of a few industries, notably finance and retail trade. The text described recent economic research suggesting increased competition may not yet warrant government intervention.
The second article explored the role of credit cards in the Great Recession. Whilst we often talk about the role of the housing market during the crisis, credit cards also played a significant role. One graphic detailed the role of credit cards in democratising the role of credit in the United States. Then we used a series of graphics to explain the role of credit cards in the collapse of the financial markets. Then we extended that to show how the Covid-19 recession had some similar effects. Finally we used a diagram to explain how the type of chain lending frequently used before the Great Recession might exacerbate the effects...


Silver in Magazine & Newspaper Design 2022, Freelancer

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Brendan Barry

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Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Research Department