By Sarah Foster
This is the final installment of a multi-part series on the Federal Reserve System Beige Book. Read the previous article: “Despite falling under regional banks’ purview, Fed’s Beige Book excludes territories, commonwealths”
Four years ago, Bethany Sanchez received a surprising inquiry: A request from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to participate in the Beige Book survey.
It wasn’t as if Sanchez was new to the Federal Reserve System, whose policymaking arm determines the direction of interest rates. The fair lending director of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council had previously met with former Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke through her involvement with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that promotes access to banking and financial services among underrepresented groups. She knew, however, that the report primarily surveyed executives at companies, not directors of nonprofits.