Daily Digest - November 13: Senator Warren Would've Voted For Dodd-Frank, And Then Some

Nov 13, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Elizabeth Warren vs. the Democratic Elites (All In With Chris Hayes)

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Elizabeth Warren vs. the Democratic Elites (All In With Chris Hayes)

Chris Hayes discusses Senator Warren's keynote at a Roosevelt Institute and Americans for Financial Reform conference on financial reform yesterday. He argues that she needs to convince the rest of the Democrats to adopt her views of the banking industry.

  • Roosevelt Take: Senator Warren's speech aired live on C-SPAN 2, and you can watch the archived video here.

Elizabeth Warren’s Populist Insurgency Enters Next Phase (Salon)

David Dayen looks at the new report on financial reform from the Roosevelt Institute and Americans for Financial Reform. He says the proposals aren't just about regulations, but about what economy we want for our citizens.

  • Roosevelt Take: You can read the report, "An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work For Us," here.

Gary Gensler's Successor Has His Work Cut Out for Him (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Matthew Philips thinks that Timothy Massad, who has been nominated to be the next chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is well equipped to take on the difficult challenge of enforcing the regulations Gary Gensler pushed through.

Yellen’s Challenge at the Fed: Speaking Persuasively to Investors (NYT)

Binyamin Appelbaum suggests that Janet Yellen's work begins this week with her confirmation hearings. As someone who has pushed the Fed to more clearly articulate its plans, she'll need to start doing just that in front of the Senate Banking Committee.

Two Fed Officials Say Aggressive Policy Action Still Needed (Reuters)

Jonathan Spicer and David Bailey report on statements by the Presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Minneapolis which emphasize the need for full employment. Both think that the Fed needs to retain accommodative policies for now.

Occupy Wall Street Activists Buy $15m of Americans' Personal Debt (The Guardian)

Adam Gabbatt explains how the Rolling Jubilee managed to eliminate so much medical debt so quickly. The secondary debt market sells debts for much less than the amount owed, which meant the program was able to have a much larger impact than planned.

The Government’s Human Price Scanners (WaPo)

Emily Wax-Thibodeaux reports on the work of "economic assistants" at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, who travel the country to record the prices of goods. By recording every detail, like differences in vet fees at night, these relatively unknown workers help to create the Consumer Price Index.

New on Next New Deal

What Do the Millennials Want From the Affordable Care Act?

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Senior Fellow for Health Care Anisha Hedge says that Millennials aren't interested in the ultra-partisan arguments for or against the ACA. They're more interested in how the law works, and how they can get health insurance.

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Our Big Financial Reform Report, "An Unfinished Mission," is Now Live!

Nov 12, 2013Mike Konczal

It's finally live! Here is the full report, along with pdfs for the individual chapters.

An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for Us

A Report by Americans for Financial Reform and the Roosevelt Institute

Edited by Mike Konczal and Marcus Stanley

Published November 12, 2013

More than five years after the financial crisis, there is still an open debate about what it would mean to have a financial sector that works for the benefit of the real economy, and how close we are to achieving that. In An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work For Us, Americans for Financial Reform and the Roosevelt Institute explore the policy questions that remain, both within and beyond the scope of the Dodd-Frank reforms.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT (PDF)

Table of Contents:

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It's finally live! Here is the full report, along with pdfs for the individual chapters.

An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for Us

A Report by Americans for Financial Reform and the Roosevelt Institute

Edited by Mike Konczal and Marcus Stanley

Published November 12, 2013

More than five years after the financial crisis, there is still an open debate about what it would mean to have a financial sector that works for the benefit of the real economy, and how close we are to achieving that. In An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work For Us, Americans for Financial Reform and the Roosevelt Institute explore the policy questions that remain, both within and beyond the scope of the Dodd-Frank reforms.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT (PDF)

Table of Contents:

Follow or contact the Rortybomb blog:

  

 

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Announcing Our Big Financial Reform Report Launch, November 12th in DC!

Oct 25, 2013Mike Konczal
Hey everyone. One reason I've been on radio silence for the past bit is that I've been gearing up for the launch of a big report on financial reform. Roosevelt Institute has teamed up with Americans for Financial Reform to produce An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for Us, which will focus on how financial reform should evolve in the next several years.
 
I'm one of the editors as well as a contributor, and I have to say I'm really excited about the content. We have Saule Omarova (whose research blew up the aluminum trading story) contributing on bank activities, Stephen Lubben on the challenges remaining with resolution authority, John Parsons on where the derivatives market stands, I'll be covering capital requirements, and many, many more.
 
I can't be more excited about this, and we are having a big launch event in Washington D.C. on November 12th in the Russell Senate Office Building. We have Senator Elizabeth Warren keynoting it, and we'll have copies of the report available.
 
The important thing is that you RSVP if you want to make it. Email: Nov12UnfinishedMission[at]gmail[dot]com to RSVP.
 
I think there's some remarkable stuff going on with the Senate Banking Committee these days, and a serious reexamination of where financial reform is coming from and where it is going by many different people. I think this report will help provide a roadmap on what still remains, and where it needs to go.
 
What: An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for Us
 
When: Tuesday, November 12, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
 
Where: Russell Senate Office Building, Room 325 Washington, D.C.
 
Keynote Speaker: Senator Elizabeth Warren
 
Contact EmailNov12UnfinishedMission[at]gmail[dot]com to RSVP.
 
This event is free and open to the public.
 
PROGRAM
 
10:00 a.m.     Opening and Introductions
 
10:10 a.m.     Making the System Safer
 
Stephen Lubben (Seton Hall Law School)
Mike Konczal (Roosevelt Institute)
Marcus Stanley (Americans for Financial Reform)
 
11:00 a.m.     Protecting Customers in the Financial System
 
Mike Calhoun (Center for Responsible Lending)
Jennifer Taub (Vermont Law School)
Ron Rhoades (Alfred University)
 
12:00 p.m.     Rethinking Bank Activities and Oversight
 
Saule Omarova (UNC School of Law and Cornell University Law School)
Wallace Turbeville (Demos)
Brad Miller (Center for American Progress / Former House Member)
 
KEYNOTE: Senator Elizabeth Warren
1:00pm – 1:30pm
 
The full report will be made available online at that time if you can't make it.
 

Follow or contact the Rortybomb blog:

  

 

Hey everyone. One reason I've been on radio silence for the past bit is that I've been gearing up for the launch of a big report on financial reform. Roosevelt Institute has teamed up with Americans for Financial Reform to produce An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for Us, which will focus on how financial reform should evolve in the next several years.
 
I'm one of the editors as well as a contributor, and I have to say I'm really excited about the content. We have Saule Omarova (whose research blew up the aluminum trading story) contributing on bank activities, Stephen Lubben on the challenges remaining with resolution authority, John Parsons on where the derivatives market stands, I'll be covering capital requirements, and many, many more.
 
I can't be more excited about this, and we are having a big launch event in Washington D.C. on November 12th in the Russell Senate Office Building. We have Senator Elizabeth Warren keynoting it, and we'll have copies of the report available.
 
The important thing is that you RSVP if you want to make it. Email: Nov12UnfinishedMission[at]gmail[dot]com to RSVP.
 
I think there's some remarkable stuff going on with the Senate Banking Committee these days, and a serious reexamination of where financial reform is coming from and where it is going by many different people. I think this report will help provide a roadmap on what still remains, and where it needs to go.
 
What: An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for Us
 
When: Tuesday, November 12, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
 
Where: Russell Senate Office Building, Room 325 Washington, D.C.
 
Keynote Speaker: Senator Elizabeth Warren
 
Contact EmailNov12UnfinishedMission[at]gmail[dot]com to RSVP.
 
This event is free and open to the public.
 
PROGRAM
 
10:00 a.m.     Opening and Introductions
 
10:10 a.m.     Making the System Safer
 
Stephen Lubben (Seton Hall Law School)
Mike Konczal (Roosevelt Institute)
Marcus Stanley (Americans for Financial Reform)
 
11:00 a.m.     Protecting Customers in the Financial System
 
Mike Calhoun (Center for Responsible Lending)
Jennifer Taub (Vermont Law School)
Ron Rhoades (Alfred University)
 
12:00 p.m.     Rethinking Bank Activities and Oversight
 
Saule Omarova (UNC School of Law and Cornell University Law School)
Wallace Turbeville (Demos)
Brad Miller (Center for American Progress / Former House Member)
 
KEYNOTE: Senator Elizabeth Warren
1:00pm – 1:30pm
 
The full report will be made available online at that time if you can't make it.
 

Follow or contact the Rortybomb blog:

  

 

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Daily Digest - October 21: Some Financial Reforms Run Smoothly

Oct 21, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Interview: Gary Gensler Explains How Financial Reform is Going (WaPo)

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Interview: Gary Gensler Explains How Financial Reform is Going (WaPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal speaks to Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler about the launch of "swap execution facility" platforms, which bring transparency and regulation to previously unregulated derivative swaps.

This Week in Poverty: The Immokalee Way (The Nation)

Greg Kaufmann profiles the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, which received the Freedom from Want medal at the Roosevelt Institute's Four Freedoms Awards last week. His history of the CIW's work over the past twenty years focuses on dignity for workers.

  • Roosevelt Take: Watch the CIW receive their award, along with Ameena Matthews, Sister Simone Campbell, Paul Krugman, and Wendell Berry, here.

Redefining the Next Policy Debate (NYT)

Jared Bernstein thinks that if the coming budget debate focuses only on fiscal policy, then the right wins. Other important issues that Congress could take up - unemployment, wage stagnation, infrastructure - would do far more for the economy than eliminating the deficit.

Shutdown Means ‘Lost Ground’ for Disabled Veterans Benefits (MSNBC)

Ned Resnikoff reports that just as Veterans Affairs was starting to catch up on its backlog of disability applications, the shutdown set things back. The GOP certainly didn't gain anything in the shutdown fight; harming disabled veterans was probably not the goal.

The Greatest Risk to the U.S. Economy Is Still the People in Charge of It (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson considers how to understand the vast amounts of money that budget showdowns have cost the economy since 2010. According to a Macroeconomic Advisors report, Congress has caused the loss of a year's worth of new jobs.

JPMorgan Chase Will Probably Give the Federal Government $13 Billion (NY Mag)

Caroline Bankoff reports on a tentative deal between JPMorgan Chase and the Justice Department to settle an investigation into bad mortgage securities. The deal will still allow the Justice Department to pursue criminal charges against individuals.

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Policy Note: Can Say-on-Pay Curb Executive Compensation?

Sep 25, 2013

Download the policy note (PDF) by Susan Holmberg

In a new policy note, Susan Holmberg presents the key economic research on the measurable impacts of Say-on-Pay in both the U.S. and the U.K., the latter of which has had a version of Say-on-Pay in force for much longer.

Download the policy note (PDF) by Susan Holmberg

Of the few provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that address governance of excessive executive compensation, the Say-on-Pay provision is the only one that the U.S. has actually implemented. Critics argue that Say-on-Pay has been a colossal failure in the three years that it has been in effect, and that very few shareholders feel strongly enough about CEO pay to vote against CEO pay packages.

In a new policy note, Susan Holmberg, Director of Research at the Roosevelt Institute, presents the key economic research on the measurable impacts of Say-on-Pay in both the U.S. and the U.K., the latter of which has had a version of Say-on-Pay in force for much longer. Drawing on this evidence, this paper argues that while Say-on-Pay alone will not slow the rise of CEO pay, the policy does have some measurable effect on CEO pay practices. Further, Say-on-Pay can enhance corporate governance practices by improving lines of communication between companies and their shareholders. Along with Say-on-Pay, it is critical that we pursue a range of policies that address the problems of executive compensation.

Read the policy note: "Can Say-on-Pay Curb Executive Compensation?" by Roosevelt Institute Director of Research Susan Holmberg.

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Daily Digest - September 25: Listening to Shareholders on CEO Pay

Sep 25, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

Can Say-on-Pay Curb Executive Compensation? (Roosevelt Institute)

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

Can Say-on-Pay Curb Executive Compensation? (Roosevelt Institute)

In her new policy note, Roosevelt Institute Director of Research Susan Holmberg argues that Say-on-Pay, which allows shareholders to vote on executive pay packages, is working, because even when shareholders approve CEO pay, boards are paying attention to the dissenters.

How a Churchgoing Urban Planner Became Compton’s Millennial Mayor (Next City)

Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz profiles Aja Brown, the new mayor of Compton who is focusing her administration on growth. Her work on basic quality of life issues is increasing her popularity in the old guard of Compton politics.

Washington Dysfunction Threatens U.S. Economy (MSNBC)

Suzy Khimm looks at just how badly a government shutdown would hurt the economy, from federal workers to B&B owners near national parks. Experts say that a shutdown longer than a few days could wipe out an entire quarter's economic growth.

The Path to Dysfunction (NYT)

Jared Bernstein looks at what got us to the point where a government shutdown seems possible next week. There are plenty of reasons, but he's most concerned by the lack of facts in any of these debates, since each side of the aisle has its own set.

Why Obama Can’t Pay a Debt-Ceiling Ransom This Time (NY Mag)

Jonathan Chait thinks that Republicans need to realize that the President is serious when he says he won't negotiate on the debt ceiling this time around. The GOP seems convinced they can get concessions, but they're more likely to drive us into a default.

GOP Launches Race War to Boost the 1 Percent (Salon)

Brittney Cooper writes that Republicans are using racial stereotypes to stir up support for their food stamp cuts. By invoking the "welfare queen," they can get support for cuts that primarily effect poor whites in red states, while keeping those voters on their side.

Mortgages are Easier to Get These Days … Watch Out, it Could be a Trap! (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore thinks people should be cautious before celebrating the fact that banks are giving more mortgages to people with lower credit scores. These lowered standards could be an early red flag, since similar patterns led up to the housing crisis.

New on Next New Deal

War-Weary Millennials See Few Good Options in Syria

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Senior Fellow for Defense and Diplomacy Jacqueline Van de Velde argues that Millennials would be happiest with a diplomatic solution to Syria's chemical weapons, but she's not sure it's doable.

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Why Workers Would Do Better with Janet Yellen as Fed Chair

Sep 17, 2013Jeff Madrick

Wall Street has responded well to Summers's withdrawal, but Main Street would also be better off without an inflation hawk leading the Federal Reserve.

Wall Street has responded well to Summers's withdrawal, but Main Street would also be better off without an inflation hawk leading the Federal Reserve.

The stock and bond markets should not be the only ones rejoicing at Larry Summers’s withdrawal from consideration to run the Federal Reserve. The nation’s workers should, too. Janet Yellen, the remaining frontrunner for the position, is no wimp on inflation. But she is the kind of economist America badly needs, one who cares about wages and employment at least as much as about appeasing bond traders. She also doesn’t think higher wages or a bit higher inflation will undo America. She is old enough to remember a pre-Clinton and pre-Reagan world. 

Right now, that means she would leave monetary policy loose far longer than Summers would have. The job market is much too weak; many people are unemployed or have left the work force, and wages are not growing. Without fiscal help from Congress, the Fed is the only protector of growth and employment around.

The Clinton boom covered up Summers’s true conservative ideological bent. He’s a tough inflation fighter underneath it all. The main policy objective of the Clinton Treasury was to focus on the budget deficit. They successfully got a tax increase passed, for which they deserve kudos. But then they restrained social spending. They did at least expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, but they neglected public investment badly, and the flaws of welfare reform are now showing. They assiduously paid down debt instead of investing, even as tax revenues poured in.

It seemed to work. Inequality stabilized, wages rose, GDP soared. But a lot of the boom depended on the high-tech stock bubble—the famed wealth effect, inducing consumers to buy because they thought they were wealthy. The increase in tax revenues was temporarily stoked by capital gains taxes on stocks. Stocks were stoked by malfeasance amid deceptive sales practices.

Would wages have continued to rise rapidly under Clintonomics? Not likely. The stock market collapse, let’s remember, occurred under Clinton. The recession George W. Bush had to cope with in his first term was a Clinton recession.

At bottom, Summers is basically an inflation targeter, converted by the double-digit inflation and higher federal deficits of the 1970s like so many of his Democratic colleagues. This defined Clintonomics. He’d rather have more unemployment than a little more inflation, which of course could spook the markets.

And frankly, Obama is a Clintonite on the deficit and inflation as well. More than anything else, this is why he wanted Summers. He wanted a Clintonite to run the Fed and sit astride inflation. With Summers by his side, he announced he would form a budget balancing commission even before he took office in 2009. His stimulus worked to stanch the Great Recession, but he hardly ever boasted about it and never came back to Congress for another one. He turned his attention to deficit fighting.

Here is a key paragraph from a Yellen speech earlier this year. It sets her apart from Summers, I think.

I believe the policy steps we have taken recently are in accord with this balanced approach. With employment so far from its maximum level and with inflation currently running, and expected to continue to run, at or below the Committee's 2 percent longer-term objective, it is entirely appropriate for progress in attaining maximum employment to take center stage in determining the Committee's policy stance.

Yellen predates Clintonomics. She can remember a time when you could get rapid wage growth, modest inflation, and a well-regulated financial sector at the same time. Summers got on famously with Greenspan. Yellen had her disagreements.

My guess is she’d tighten policy before many progressives think she should anyway, including this writer. She will worry about new speculative bubbles, which Summers and Greenspan did not. She is a mainstream economist, but a thoughtful and compassionate one.

Yellen would also reject the argument that unemployment is basically structural. Some say we have lots of jobs that American’s don’t have the skills for. She had it researched and found, as did others, that there were no increases in demand for workers or resulting increases in wages in the sectors of the economy where workers were supposed to be scarce. So unemployment is cyclical, not structural. We don’t know what Summers believes about structural unemployment, but he almost surely believes the rate cannot fall as far as Yellen thinks. 

Yellen is not part of the old boy network, so Obama may still not appoint her. She is not a backslapper. She’s likely to be more impressed by economists who do very good scholarship than by hedge fund managers.

She is quiet woman. She is personally low-key, which disguises firm, well-developed opinions. But she’s battled before at the Fed, so she’s not afraid of a fight.

Workers should rejoice. Wages may go up handsomely again under her reign. The unemployment rate could fall below 6 percent, where it belongs. That is, if Obama has the stuff to give a pre-Clintonite who seems to dislike Washington networking the job. 

It would be a return to an older Democratic tradition and be damned good for America.

Jeff Madrick is a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative.

 

Federal Reserve image via Shutterstock.com

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Mortgage Rule Debate Pits Dreams of Homeownership Against Market Fears

Aug 8, 2013Jack Houghteling

New models for mortgage standards out of Dodd-Frank have banks insisting that they cannot do without federal support, just as we begin to look to the end of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

New models for mortgage standards out of Dodd-Frank have banks insisting that they cannot do without federal support, just as we begin to look to the end of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

As the first decade of the 2000s ushered in industry-wide privatization of the housing market, banks began to transition from more reliable long-term loans to less reliable adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). This shift created vast uncertainty. Without any requirement that forced lenders and security holders to retain risk on their own products, or a guarantee that interest rates and housing prices would remain stable, ARMs were left subject to external forces. If the market did well, borrowers would be okay; however, if the market went under, they were in serious trouble.

In the wake of the financial crisis, which led to a slew of housing foreclosures nationwide, legal experts and consumer activists felt a growing need to address this issue of uncertainty. The fact that lenders naively thought that the optimal market forces of 2005-06 would last - while the mortgage market remained over-leveraged and un-diversified – was not only delusional but also downright dangerous, they argued. Worst of all, mortgage debt often ended up falling on taxpayers, many of whom lost their most valuable asset (their home) in the process.

The Qualified Mortgage (QM) and Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) standards of the Dodd-Frank Act served as a reassurance that mortgages, irrespective of market forces, would not continue to default as many did during the crash. QM was a way to limit credit risk. It mandated that lenders could only sell loans that could be repaid by borrowers, and adopted a number of rules pertaining to down-payments, fixed-interest rates, debt-to income ratios and other “ability to repay” criteria. QRM forced lenders and security holders to either retain risk on their products (roughly 5-10 percent) or adopt ability to repay rules that were even stricter than the normal QM standards. The key idea was that by realigning incentives, by emphasizing the importance of quality over volume, the private mortgage market could be regulated without being hindered or altogether shutdown.

There is now a new debate brewing on QRM between those who insist on such standards and the large lobbying cohort of lenders, brokers, developers, and construction magnates who argue that QRM would curtail the ability of lower-income borrowers to access mortgage credit. Specifically, they argue that QRM should be more in line with QM, which has broader, less strict rules. “Failing to align these rules,” according to a report written by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, “will further entrench the market’s dependence on federal programs,” and thus keep private capital from returning to the market.

To understand the larger context surrounding this debate, there are two important functions of QRM to consider. The first is its role as the last line of defense against housing foreclosure. QRM, in this regard, is less geared toward providing access to credit than it is toward the long-term viability of the market. Sure, providing borrowers with the opportunity to purchase a home is important, but so is making sure that those borrowers are buying into a reliable, stable market. It would be foolish to ignore the lessons learned in 2008.

QRM's second function is to get lenders to retain more risk. Some banks, including Wells Fargo, have actually called for raising down-payment rates to 30 percent for mortgages exempt from risk-retention rules. The suggestion, while a bit lofty, sheds light on an important point: the end goal is not to push consumers out of the market, but to find a way to get lenders to put more skin in the game.

Why, then, are mortgage interest groups advocating for fewer requirements? Do they actually want to provide opportunity for lower-income families? In part, yes. But it is also possible that lenders are simply trying to evade risk-retention rules, and that "opportunity" is just financial self-interest under the guise of a euphemistic slogan.

QRM standards could certainly be improved. Large down-payment requirements, in particular, have shown little proof of actually working. As the Coalition for Sensing Housing Policy points out, “The QRM rule ignores compelling data that demonstrate sound underwriting and product features, like documentation of income and type of mortgage, have a larger impact on reducing housing rates than high income.”

We should therefore start coming up with alternate ways to promote market stability: incentivizing lenders and banks to sell fewer ARMs, subsidizing 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, forcing banks to assume greater financial responsibility for interest rate spikes, etc.

Part of the reason the housing issue is so sensitive is because of its cultural and emotional roots. Houses maintain a special place in the American imagination. They are the central unit of private life, where families take shape and values are taught. In the post-war years, a house was a source of great pride for any homeowner and the ultimate affirmation of making it into the middle class. We find the idea that some are unable to enjoy such a signature feature of American life, for good reason, to be both unfathomable and unacceptable.

However, more important than any cultural preconception is the substantive need to make sure that mortgages don’t default and that 2008 doesn’t happen again. There seem to be two possible routes that could be taken on the housing issue. One would be for lenders and security holders to agree to take on more risk, while providing access to affordable loans. This would satisfy the “dual mandate” of mortgage stability and broad consumer access to credit. The second option, if banks choose not to cooperate with risk-retention rules, would be to proceed with stricter, inflexible payment requirements as outlined under QRM. Most would prefer the former option. But then again, we live in an era of political sclerosis, where conciliation time and again takes a backseat to conflict. So don’t cross your fingers.

Jack Houghteling is a research intern working with Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal and is a rising senior at Claremont McKenna College.

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Daily Digest - August 8: Labor Working Local

Aug 8, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

Veto Decision Looms for DC Retail Living Wage Bill (The Nation)

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

Veto Decision Looms for DC Retail Living Wage Bill (The Nation)

Josh Eidelson speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren, who thinks that it's fine if DC's living wage bill targets Wal-Mart, because it sets standards for its industry. He suggests that initiatives like this one are the most successful way to raise labor standards today.

More Than a Quarter of Fast-Food Workers Are Raising a Child (The Atlantic)

Jordan Weissmann looks at the details of some surprising statistics about fast food workers. The numbers show that those who claim fast food workers are teenagers or young people working for pocket change are just plain wrong.

Helping Low-Income Renters (Off The Charts)

Douglas Rice explains just how out of balance housing policies are today. More than one third of American households are renters, but less than a quarter of housing assistance funds go to those households.

Washington Steps Warily on Housing (NYT)

Binyamin Appelbaum examines the challenges that face the federal government in altering its role in the mortgage business. It's possible that without government support, the 30-year mortgages that are so common here could disappear.

Obama Bets on Private Market in Housing Recovery (MSNBC)

Ned Resnikoff reports on the details of the President's housing policy, revealed in a roundtable discussion on Wednesday. Obama calls for the private market to step into the space that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will leave, which puts a lot of trust in the banks.

The Fed Could Still Let Wall Street Sneak Back Into the Commodities Business (MoJo)

Lina Khan lays out how big banks got started in oil, electricity, and other physical commodities. This allows them insider access to industries they trade on, and she thinks it would be safest if banks were forced out of these riskier, more speculative fields.

New on Next New Deal

Debunking the Minimum Wage Myth: Higher Wages Will Not Reduce Jobs

Emily Chong discusses evidence supporting the fight to increase the minimum wage. Multiple studies show that a higher minimum wage will have no negative effects on employment, and she thinks the increase would work as an anti-poverty program.

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Policy Note: Can Social Impact Bonds Unlock Private Money for Public Goods?

Aug 5, 2013

Download the policy note (PDF) by Georgia Levenson Keohane

In a new policy note, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Georgia Levenson Keohane analyzes a new model of social entrepreneurship, which utilizes private funds to solve social problems. Social impact bonds finance preventative programs that the government does not have the budget to fund, but raise questions about whether a return-on-investment model is really the best way to approach social needs and if the funding sources affect the work being done.

Download the policy note (PDF) by Georgia Levenson Keohane

In a new policy note, Roosevelt Institute Fellow Georgia Levenson Keohane analyzes a new model of social entrepreneurship, which utilizes private funds to solve social problems. Social impact bonds finance preventative programs that the government does not have the budget to fund, but raise questions about whether a return-on-investment model is really the best way to approach social needs and if the funding sources affect the work being done.

Read the policy note: "Can Social Impact Bonds Unlock Private Money for Public Goods?" by Roosevelt Institute Fellow Georgia Levenson Keohane.

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