Global Economic Leaders Gather in Chicago to Advance Financial Literacy

    Chicago Fed and Visa Inc. Host Financial Literacy Summit Featuring U.S.
    Sen. Akaka, Canadian Finance Minister Flaherty and Head of the Banking,
    Securities and Savings Unit of the Mexican Ministry of Finance & Public
    Credit Guillermo Zamarripa Escamilla

    CHICAGO, Il, April 20 /CNW/ - The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and
Visa Inc. convened a global summit today on financial literacy, bringing
together government leaders from multiple countries to explore ways to promote
lasting economic stability through improvements in individual money
    Speakers at the third annual Financial Literacy and Education Summit
focused on three imperatives: recognition of financial literacy as a critical
life skill; all entities involved in the global financial system doing their
part to find solutions; and the necessity of cross-border and cross-industry
collaboration. Featured speakers included: U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, Canadian
Finance Minister James Flaherty, Head of the Banking, Securities and Savings
Unit of the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit Guillermo Zamarripa
Escamilla and Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
    "Given the current environment, it has never been more important to
ensure that people have the opportunity to make informed financial decisions,"
said Joe Carberry, Global Head of Public Affairs, Visa Inc. "By forging
partnerships across organizations and across geographies we can achieve a
common goal: A world in which all consumers have the skills and knowledge to
manage their money effectively."
    "The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is pleased to team up with Visa once
again to host this summit on an issue of critical importance to sustaining
both the short-term and long-term financial health of individuals, families
and communities," said Charles Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. "Today's discussion and events like "Money
Smart Week" help keep all of us focus on the actions we can take, as leaders,
to help promote more and better financial education, not just in the U.S., but
    "We are living in an increasingly complex financial world of investment
and credit products whose characteristics and risks have become much more
difficult to comprehend," said Minister Flaherty. "Today's financial world
cries out for improved financial literacy - it will be a necessary ingredient
in restoring confidence, and ensuring long-term prosperity."
    An online replay of the summit can be viewed online beginning today at
9:00 a.m. Central at:

    Summit participants included:
    -  The Honorable Ben Bernanke: Chairman, Board of Governors of the
       Federal Reserve System (from Washington, D.C.)
    -  The Honorable Daniel Akaka: U.S. Senator (HI)
    -  Charles Evans: President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve
       Bank of Chicago
    -  The Honorable James Flaherty: Minister of Finance, Canadian Department
       of Finance
    -  The Honorable Guillermo Zamarripa Escamilla: Head of the Banking,
       Securities and Savings Unit, Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public
    -  The Honorable Alexi Giannoulias: Illinois State Treasurer
    -  Sarah Rosen Wartell: Executive Vice President, Center for American
    -  Joe Carberry: Global Head of Public Affairs, Visa Inc.
    -  Jean Chatzky: Personal finance expert and best-selling author

    At the summit, Visa announced that it would be providing the City of
Chicago a free financial literacy program for all 35,000 municipal employees.
Done in conjunction with Chicago Treasurer Stephanie Neely, the "Chicago
Practical Money Skills" program will be rolled out to City employees in May.

    About the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks
that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, DC, make up the
nation's central bank. The Chicago Reserve Bank serves the Seventh Federal
Reserve District, which encompasses the northern portions of Illinois and
Indiana, southern Wisconsin, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and the state of
Iowa. In addition to participation in the formulation of monetary policy, each
Reserve Bank supervises member banks and bank holding companies, provides
financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. government, and
monitors economic conditions in its District.

    About Visa Inc.

    Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network
providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes
consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered
under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys
unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's
largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more
than 170 countries. For more information, visit

For further information:

For further information: Steve Burke, CRC Public Relations, Tel: (703)
683-5004, ext. 108; Toronto: Sarah Van Lange, Fleishman-Hillard, (416)
645-8173; Carla Morin, Visa Canada, (416) 860-8850

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