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Minneapolis Fed president plans a town hall in Pierre

PIERRE -- The current president and chief executive officer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis said Saturday he plans to visit Pierre this week.

PIERRE - The current president and chief executive officer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis said Saturday he plans to visit Pierre this week.

Neel Kashkari said he wants people from the area to tell him about current conditions in the local economy.

Kashkari is the guest at a 90-minute town hall forum set for Thursday, Feb. 8, starting at 7:30 a.m. CT.

The event is in amphitheater two of the Pierre Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center, 920 W. Sioux Ave.

Kashkari said the trip is his first to Pierre. He has visited Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

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The goal is to visit each state at least once each year, he said.

Kashkari was 42 when Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank directors announced his selection Nov. 15, 2015.

He began as president Jan. 1, 2016. He succeeded Narayana Kocherlakota, who was president from 2009 through Dec. 31, 2015.

The Minneapolis Fed is responsible for the Ninth Federal Reserve District.

The district covers Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan.

"It is a huge, varied district," Kashkari said. "More than anything, I'm here to learn."

Forums have drawn 50 to 250 people, according to Kashkari.

He seemed to have a good grasp.

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"I know workforce is a big challenge," he said.

He also wants to hear what sort of impediment affordable housing is.

Christine Hamilton is one of the Minneapolis Fed's directors. She lives in the Chamberlain and Sioux Falls areas.

Kashkari described Hamilton as "terrific" and "engaged."

"She brings a wealth of experience to our board of directors," he said.

David Emery, the head of Black Hills Corporation, has been nominated to the board and would be a second director from South Dakota if elected.

"We think he'd be a great director," Kashkari said.

Kashkari serves on the Federal Open Market Committee that sets U.S. monetary policy. Approximately 1,100 employees work in the Minneapolis Fed offices in Minneapolis and Helena, Montana.

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Among their duties are economic research, supervision of financial institutions and providing payments services to commercial banks and the U.S. government, according to the Minneapolis Fed's website.

Kashkari talked Saturday about what he's found during past visits to South Dakota.

"Sioux Falls jumped out to me as a booming healthcare sector. It was remarkable to see they were providing telemedicine services to the nation as a whole," he said.

"As you go out to the smaller communities, one of the biggest challenges is declining population," he continued. "Some communities have done a better job of getting organized."

Before accepting the president's post, Kashkari most recently was a candidate for governor of California. He placed second in the nonpartisan blanket primary behind incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014.

Kashkari was managing director and member of the executive office at PIMCO, a private-sector investment company. He worked at PIMCO from 2009 into January 2013, according to a summary of his biography.

He was at the U.S. Department of Treasury from 2006 to 2009. There he served as senior adviser to Secretary Henry Paulson and then as assistant secretary.

As assistant secretary for the treasury, he established and led the Office of Financial Stability and oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program, first for U.S. President George W. Bush and then for U.S. President Barack Obama, the summary said.

He previously was a vice president at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco and an aerospace engineer at TRW Corp.

He holds a master degree in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, the summary said.

Registration for the Pierre event can be done at

Partners" target="_blank">bit.ly/2s5GqcP.

Partners include Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Pierre Economic Development Corp., Fort Pierre Development Corp. and South Dakota Bankers Association.
Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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