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Think you’re smarter than Fed chief Janet Yellen? Play this game and prove it

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Fed up with the endless talk about interest rates and inflation? Think economic growth could be faster? Think you can do monetary policy better than Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen?

Then try “Chair the Fed,” a new online game that challenges your ability to manage an economy.

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The game puts your hand on the interest rate lever and tests how effective you would be managing unemployment and inflation — and whether, as former Fed chair William McChesney Martin once said of the Fed’s central duty as a spoiler, you are ready to remove the punch bowl just as the party gets going.

The game was put online as a tool for economics and other students by the Fed’s San Francisco branch, available here.

“Our hope is that the ‘Chair the Fed’ game will inspire students of all ages to take an interest in monetary policy and its role in the US economy,” said Jody Hoff, director of education and outreach at the San Francisco Fed.

For hard-core gamers, the technology is ancient, but it gives a good idea of some of the challenges with the Fed’s mission.

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As the newly appointed Fed chair, the player has to figure out if the momentum in inflation at, say, 2.3 percent, requires a pre-emptive rate increase, or how far to cut rates as joblessness edges above five percent.

As a rate decision is posed each quarter, you meanwhile are buffeted by alternating comforting and unnerving headlines: “Tight job market suggests more inflation ahead,” “Economy in contractionary spiral” or “Uncontrolled economic boom signals problems.”

The game gives you a Fed Chair’s normal four-year term to keep both joblessness and inflation stable, as is the Fed’s mandate.

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When you fail — unemployment rockets to nine percent or deflation sets in — it delivers the humbling message: “Sorry. Because of disappointing economic results, you have not been reappointed.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan

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Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.

Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.

It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.

"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.

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Trump is ‘a bottomless pit of emotional need’ with a ‘desperate’ desire for friends: NYT’s Charles Blow

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New York Times editorial writer Charles Blow called out the president in his Sunday editorial for always associating the country with himself.

The byproduct of narcissism is that everything surrounds the narcissist. Such is the case with President Donald Trump's latest series of tweets talking about "My Stock Market" and quoting a fan referring to him as the second coming of Christ.

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‘Disconnected from reality’: NY Times editor ridicules Trump for being a ‘farce’ of a president

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New York Times editorial board member, Michelle Cottle, released a scathing op-ed highlighting the president's tendency to give oxygen to his adversaries that no one else would be paying attention to otherwise.

In a piece relating the White House to a "three-ring" circus, Cottle called the president a "farce" for his new war with Anthony Scaramucci.

As the president tweeted, no one had heard of Scaramucci until Trump hired him and former chief-of-staff John Kelly fired him after only 11 days.

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