Bank of Lithuania

Three students from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, won the 1st CEFER Challenge, an annual thematic competition that encourages university students to learn and think outside the box about the issues related to the euro area macroeconomy, the financial system, and the implementation of monetary policy. The winning team included Krystal Ng, Annie Liu, and Rebecca Lu who also received helpful guidance from their faculty advisors Dr. Augusto Voltes-Dorta and Dr. Yi Cao.

The inaugural event was held virtually due to different pandemic restrictions applied across countries. Twenty five students from several EEA countries and the UK submitted video presentations on 15 April 2022. This year’s event has encouraged students to explore why central banks and financial regulators should care about climate change and how to implement policy to combat climate change.

Six finalist teams participated in Q&A sessions held on 5 May 2022. Each team delivered a 15-minute presentation which was each followed by a 15-minute Q&A session reviewed by the jury to determine the winners. Three students from the University of Orleans, France, won the second place, and an honorable mention for the third place went to a team composed of two students from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands, and one student from ISM University of Management and Economics, Lithuania. These teams explored different channels through which climate change impacts the economy and the monetary policy, such as risk management, housing collateral, interest rates, banking system, inflation expectations, and asset prices.

“I want to thank every participant for their hard work,” said Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania. “The purpose of this event was to engage you in the real policymaking perspective of climate change. The real decision-making process is complicated and usually filled with uncertainty. The decisions we make today about climate will not only have an impact on us but also on the generations to come.” Povilas Lastauskas, Director of CEFER, said during the winner announcement: “I’m really happy to see that many non-textbook-based explorations here, and that’s part of the goal of this event… I hope you enjoyed your research during this event and maybe some of you will pursue research careers in economics and finance in the future.”

“I’d like to thank everyone who hosted this event. It’s amazing! And it’s so amazing to do something that is so interesting with your friends as well. It’s so precious. I hope all of you can imagine how I feel right now,” said Krystal Ng, a member of this year’s winning team.

Teams were evaluated on their economic analysis, responses to the jury’s questions, teamwork, and presentation. The jury for the final round of the competition included: Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania; Povilas Lastauskas, Director of CEFER at the Bank of Lithuania; Audrius Šilgalis, Head of the Investment Services and Undertakings Supervision Division at the Bank of Lithuania; Viktors Toropovs, Sustainability Officer from SEB Latvia, representing SEB Lithuania; Antanas Bielinis, Business Controller, representing Nasdaq.

Interested in the next CEFER Challenge? Please stay tuned for updates on our website: