If I could sum up 2020 in one word, it would be “gratitude.” Gratitude for front-line workers, gratitude for medical professionals and scientists, and gratitude for the extraordinary staff of the Philadelphia Fed.
Last year many of us were fortunate to be able to work from home, although telework brought its own challenges. Bank staff juggled family and personal commitments alongside their impressive dedication to serving our communities through their work at the Federal Reserve.
But not all of our Bank staff were able to work from the comparative safety of our own homes. Take Cash Services, which not only continued to work in person in the Bank but was hit with more demand than ever before. In 2020, the Bank’s function that supplies cash and coin to Third District depository institutions experienced record-high transaction volumes, national coin circulation issues, and rapid changes to this tightly controlled and monitored operation. Our staff’s professionalism and resilience were truly extraordinary during this time.
This is just one example of the integrity, dedication, and — in many cases — physical courage that our employees displayed in 2020, and for which I feel profound gratitude. Throughout this report, you’ll read more about the Philadelphia Fed staff’s commitment to the people they serve. You’ll learn how our researchers and outreach groups pivoted to inform policymakers, business and community leaders, and others about seismic changes in the economy and to ensure a strong and inclusive recovery.
I’m also grateful for our community partners, without which we could not serve the Third District and the national economy so effectively. Operating in a virtual environment, the Philadelphia Fed continued to monitor the economic pulse of the Third District through our board of directors and two advisory councils: the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council, composed of members from commercial banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions, and the Economic and Community Advisory Council, whose members come from the public and private sector.
Finally, I’m grateful that you are reading this Annual Report, which not only details the facts and figures of our operations but also tells the story of the more than 900 extraordinary people who come together every day — if not always physically — to ensure a healthy, inclusive economy for the Third District and all Americans.