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Opinion, commentary and analysis on everything that makes the U.S. housing economy tick -- not to mention the ghosts in the machine, too. Written by HW's team of editors and reporters each business day.
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Want to be the chair of the Federal Reserve? Here’s your chance [Quiz]

Think you’re smarter than Janet Yellen, prove it

December 31, 2015

As we all count down the hours until the New Year’s Eve festivities officially begin, here’s a nice little distraction that might keep you entertained, educate you, or confirm that you are a true financial ninja.

Earlier this week, one of our favorites on Twitter, @RudyHavenstein, pointed out a new game that the educational arm of the Federal Reserve posted on its website recently.

The game is called “Chair the Fed,” and it gives you the opportunity to do just that. The game puts you in charge of the Fed’s monetary policy for 16 quarters and gives you the chance to try your hand at running the Fed.

You can raise or lower the Federal Funds rate and see its impact on the economy, the unemployment rate and the rate of inflation.

Chair the Fed 1

Want to roll back the Fed’s recent Federal Funds rate increase and see what happens? Let’s see:

Chair the Fed 2

Welp, a few straight quarters of the Federal Funds rate at 0% and we’ve got a housing market crash on our hands. What to do next? Hold tight!

Chair the Fed 4

The Fed game suggests that we should lower rates to boost the economy. But it’s already at zero! And we can’t go negative. So we have to ride it out.

Chair the Fed 5

Now we’re got ourselves some super-low unemployment but inflation is skyrocketing. Let’s ride it out some more!

Chair the Fed 6

Well, it’s the end our 16-month term, unemployment is low but inflation is high. And we have not been asked back for another term.

Chair the Fed 7

I’ve played this game a dozen times and I’ve failed as Fed chair every time. Except once!

I survived a housing crash and lived to tell the tale.

Chair the Fed housing crisis

Plus I get another 16 months as Fed chair!

Chair the Fed congrats

So, do you think you can do better than me as the chair of the Fed? Or better than Janet Yellen? Or Ben Bernanke? Or Alan Greenspan?

Here’s your chance. Click this link and take your turn as chair of the Fed.

And good luck to you. Don’t wreck our economy!

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