Recap: January Chapter Meeting – A Double Feature

Jan 16, 2015

Hour I: Dr. Narayana Kocherlakota - Monetary Policy and the Economy
Hour II: Mark Lanterman - Ethical Use of Evolving Technologies

For the chapter’s first meeting of 2015 we were pleased to welcome Dr. Narayaneh Kocherlakota, the current president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Mark Lanterman, of Computer Forensic Services.

In our first hour Dr. Kocherlakota discussed aspects of the state of the economy, touching on domestic economic trends and forecasts. He covered relevant economic events, certain governmental policies, short-term prospects for 2015 growth and longer term projections. He discussed the results of the Fed’s monetary policy over the last several years using tools to keep inflation at or around 2% per year and promoting full employment. He pointed out that while unemployment has dropped to 5.6% in 2014, inflation has been lingering below the Fed Open Market Committee’s goal of 2% and asserted that there has been, in his opinion, insufficient stimulus to the economy. Noting that the “natural interest rate”, that is the rate preinflation, is under the desired rate of 2%, and thus should get attention. Going forward he recommended that the Fed take a more goal oriented approach to monetary policy and suggested that it was better to look at core inflation without including energy due to its volitility. He forecasts that it will take several years for core inflation to return to the goal level of 2% per year and that it was unlikely in the foreseeable future that the Fed would raise the goal for inflation beyond 2%.

In our second hour Mark Lanterman discussed our ethical responsibility as planners to ensure the safety of our clients’ confidential information. He described his previous roles in law enforcement and now as a computer forensic consultant and the challenges he faces every day in trying to recognize and access data sources, collecting and preserving the evidence and structuring his factual findings and testimony in cases in which he testifies. He discussed how deleted data is found and restored and how the analysis of meta data can be used to actually track down fraud. Using several domestic and international examples he demonstrated how the analysis of meta data was used to track down international bank fraud cybercriminals, and how data recovered from a seemingly destroyed computer hard drive led to the arrest of an embezzler. He covered the recent big box retailer credit card scams and how stolen credit card information has been marketed on the web. Mark went on to discuss how information is stored on PDAs (iPhones and other smart phones) including messages, photos and GPS coordinates, even when the “location services” is disabled. He had several suggestions for the safekeeping of data and how our clients can best keep their confidential information out of the hands of criminals and how we need to watch our accounts to avoid fraudulent charges.