The Federal Reserve Bank offers a wealth of information on the housing market, financial markets and the economy generally. By visiting its website, you can view current and past issues of their publications to track tends and spot business opportunities. Here are some publications available from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:
Annual Report: current issue | subscribe | past issues - Preserving the independence of the Federal Reserve is as important today as it was when Congress created the Fed in 1913. Read about why a well-designed central bank needs to be independent, credible, accountable and transparent in The St. Louis Fed's 2009 Annual Report.
Bridges: current issue | e-mail alert | subscribe | RSS | past issues - Is a quarterly review of regional community development issues, projects and regulatory changes for lenders and community groups.
Burgundy Books: These reports provide anecdotal information along with formal data for each of the regions (or zones) in the St. Louis Fed's Eighth District. Released four times per year. Example – St. Louis Economic Data: http://research.stlouisfed.org/regecon/burgundybooks/10/03/BB0310StL.pdf.
Central Banker: A quarterly overview of Fed policies, initiatives and news affecting financial institutions in the Eight District. Example: In-Depth: Look Near and Far To Cover CRA Assessment Lending Areas
Liber8 Newsletter: A newsletter written for librarians, students and the general public on current economic topics. Includes links to relevant data and articles. Published nine times a year, August - November, and January - May. Example: What Does Foreclosure Entail? or What Does Foreclosure Entail?,
Regional Economic Development: A journal of local and regional economic development, with particular focus on the Eighth Federal Reserve District.
The Regional Economist: A quarterly publication that addresses national and regional economic issues and their impact on the Eighth District. Example: District Overview: Decline in House Prices Slows Down; District Still Faring Better than Nation or Why HARM the Subprime Borrower?.
Review: A journal of articles about the national and international economic developments -- particularly their monetary aspects. Example: Nonlinear Effects of School Quality on House Prices.
Economic Research Working Papers: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working papers are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. Papers appear in Acrobat PDF format
Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working papers are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. Papers appear in Acrobat PDF format.
Casino Gambling in America and Its Economic Impacts - PDF 656 KB - Will a casino be a boon or bust for your community? Fed senior economist Thomas A. Garrett explores the effects of casino gambling on local employment, tax revenue and retail business in this research study.
The Impact of Local Predatory Laws on the Flow of Subprime Credit - PDF 717 KB - Starting in 1999 with North Carolina, 24 states and other local governments have enacted laws to curb predatory lending in the subprime mortgage market. How do these laws affect the flow of subprime credit in those areas? A new report from Anthony Pennington-Cross, a research economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, suggests that the typical law has little impact, as measured by loan origination and application.
Light-Rail Transit in America: Policy Issues and Prospects for Economic Development - PDF 1489 KB - Over the past several decades, cities across America have constructed light-rail systems as a means of reducing traffic congestion and promoting economic development. In this research report, Fed senior economist Tom Garrett discusses whether light rail has lived up to these expectations.
Local Crime and Local Business Cycles - PDF 956 KB - Do business cycles affect crime rates? A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis provides some answers to that question by presenting information on local business cycles and crime rates in 23 major cities. Written by Fed economist Thomas A. Garrett and senior research associate Lesli S. Ott, the report includes data for four cities in the Bank’s District: St. Louis, Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis.
Neighborhood Characteristics Matter... When Businesses Look for a Location - PDF 2470 KB
What is it about a neighborhood that attracts businesses? Economist Christopher Wheeler studies the issue in this study that looks at the data from a neighborhood level. The report looks at ZIP codes across the country and then focuses on the St. Louis Fed’s District, with data from St. Louis, Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis.
Passive Policies for Entrepreneurs - PDF 1477 KB - A study by St. Louis Fed economists Thomas A. Garrett and Howard J. Wall finds that the absence of government intervention creates a better climate for entrepreneurship. Although policymakers often pursue active policies when recruiting businesses, such as targeted tax breaks or other incentives, more passive policies lower the general cost of running or starting a business and increase rates of entrepreneurship.
Urban Sprawl, Urban Promise: A Case Study of Memphis, Tennessee - PDF 1352 KB - Prepared by David Ciscel, a professor of economics at the University of Memphis. Related to the economy of Memphis and the Delta region.
Coming Up with the Money - view online - Published in 2002, this self-study guide explains the basics of launching a community development project. Available as an easy-to-use online tool or in a series of printable PDFs:
- Introduction (PDF 138 KB)
- Unit 1: Core Principles (PDF 206 KB)
- Unit 2: Go/No Go (PDF 226 KB)
- Unit 3: Case Study No. 1 / Case Study No. 2 (PDF 365 KB)
- Glossary (PDF 193 KB)
- Web Sites (PDF 106 KB)
Credit Scoring - The Federal Reserve System's Mortgage Credit Partnership Credit Scoring Committee has produced a series on this increasingly popular underwriting tool. The series was published in installments in 2001 and 2002 by the St. Louis Fed as a project of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and St. Louis, as well as the Board of Governors. The series examines many of the controversial elements of credit scoring. Each part is available as a separate PDF.
- Introduction (PDF 552KB)
- Part 1 — Credit Scoring Overview (PDF 1.09MB)
- Part 2 — Credit Scoring Model Development and Maintenance (PDF 232KB)
- Part 3 — Third-Party Brokers (PDF 506KB)
- Part 3 — Supplement (PDF 400KB)
- Part 4 — Staff Training, Loan Pricing and Data Accuracy (PDF 535KB)
- Part 5 — Overrides and Second-Review Process (PDF 816KB)
Foreclosure Survival Guide - PDF 433 KB | order copies - This publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is intended for homeowners who are having difficulty paying their mortgage. The guide provides basic information on when to worry about a loan, how to get help from a housing counselor and pitfalls to avoid in choosing a counselor. The free publication also includes a national hotline number (1-888-995-HOPE) and a list of local counseling agencies.
Innovative Ideas for Revitalizing the LIHTC Market - PDF 636 KB - In the current economy, with homeownership more difficult to attain, the need for rental housing has become increasingly important. However, the market for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs), a major source of capital for the development of rental housing, has experienced a serious downturn. This publication, produced by the Board of Governors’ and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Community Affairs functions, features six short articles by experts with their ideas for bolstering the LIHTC program.
Learn Before You Leap - The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' Learn Before You Leap brochures list counseling agencies, customized by Eighth District Branch, that provide advice on every step of the home-buying process, from budgeting income to negotiating a contract to closing on a loan. Available as printable PDFs in both English and Spanish. Multiple hard copies can also be ordered from each District Branch contact: St. Louis (call Cynthia Davis, 314-444-8761) English (PDF 292 KB) Spanish (PDF 238 KB).
The Resource Guide for Small Businesses: Where To Go for Money and Advice - PDF 258 KB - Business assistance and alternative capital resources available in the St. Louis metropolitan region are listed in this booklet. Designed for owners of small businesses and microenterprises, the guide is intended to be a starting point for those opening a new business or wishing to expand an existing business. The Resource Guide is a project of the St. Louis County Economic Council, US Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The booklet is available online and can also be ordered free of charge from Cynthia Davis at the Federal Reserve, 314-444-8761.