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Secretary of State

Securities Division > News Archive  > 2007 Press Releases > For Immediate Release: May 1, 2007 Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Visa Convene National Summit on Financial Education

Contact: Allison Fore


Award-Winning Journalist and Best-Selling Author Jean Chatzky Moderates Expert Panelists, Including Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita

Chicago, IL - Helping to shine the national spotlight on practical solutions to the problem of financial illiteracy, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Visa USA today convened an all-star cast of educators, policy makers and financial education advocates at a Financial Literacy and Education Summit. 

Held live and via webcast at the Chicago Fed, this Summit was part of ‘Money Smart Week,' a week-long series of events created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to help consumers increase their financial awareness and understanding.

Personal finance expert Jean Chatzky moderated two panel discussions. Chatzky is a best-selling author who appears regularly on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Today Show,” as well as the host of a daily radio program on Oprah & Friends (XM 156).  The first panel examined the key challenges in promoting financial education at the federal level and the question of whether financial education should be a high school graduation requirement.  The second panel highlighted innovative approaches to and best practices in personal finance learning.

While Indiana is not a state with a financial literacy curriculum requirement, Rokita discussed how his Indiana Investment Watch program - a free service funded entirely from the fines paid by stock brokerage firms - is working to improve financial literacy for Hoosiers of all ages by offering multimedia activities for school-age children, curriculum supplements for teachers, and free workshops to help adults guard against investment fraud.

Other panelists included Former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, former FDIC Chairman William Seidman, Operation Hope Founder John Hope Bryant, Ohio State Treasurer Richard Cordray, Executive Director of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy Laura Levine, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Senior Education Specialist Steve Malin and 2002 Teacher of the Year Chauncey Veatch.

“This Summit provides a unique forum for the public and private sectors to exchange ideas and continue working together to ensure that financial learning starts at an early age, beginning at the dinner table, and is carried through in the classroom,” said Chatzky.

“We have to address the issue of financial literacy at multiple levels, and certainly in classrooms,” said Rokita.  “Integrating financial literacy basics into math classes, economics classes, and even language arts classes is one of the most significant steps we can take to make sure our children are ready to compete with their counterparts around the world.”

About 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, D.C., 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 USA
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system - members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,432 member financial institutions, more than 510 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.6 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.

About Indiana Investment Watch
Indiana Investment Watch is a broad-based campaign created by Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita as an effort to reach and educate residents who have investments or may soon be looking for investment opportunities. Created after a statewide survey showed that nearly two-thirds of Indiana adults who own financial investments have little or no knowledge about potential fraud schemes or the security of investments, this program combats the lack of investment education among all Hoosiers. More information about the program and its initiatives can be found at

Indiana Investment Watch is a free service funded entirely from the fines paid by stock brokerage firms in connection with the settlement of stock analyst conflict of interest cases.