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Financial Crisis

Mortgage Trouble Redux

  • By
  • Tim Fernholz,
  • New America Foundation
October 13, 2010 |

Bank of America's announcement last week that it was placing a moratorium on foreclosures suggests the financial sector is finally taking seriously widespread reports of document fraud in the buying, selling, and servicing of mortgages. While the full implications of the problems are still unclear, evicted homeowners may see some compensation, even if they probably can't get their homes back. Banks will at least see delays in foreclosure and potentially serious sanctions. They could also see loans they thought they sold boomerang back and end up on their balance sheets.

Blind Trust

  • By
  • Tim Fernholz,
  • New America Foundation
November 17, 2010 |

The mortgage mess isn't going away. Loans, sold as many as 12 times before ending up in a complex security or on a financial institution's balance sheet, have been found with key legal paperwork misplaced or incorrectly transferred. If you've followed the issue, you know documentation problems prevent mortgage servicers from foreclosing on homes: They lack proof of their legal right to do so. It's a symptom of underlying irregularities, not the end of the story.

Standing on Shaky Ground

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 2:45pm

The Rockefeller Foundation, the New America Foundation, and Yale University economic security expert Jacob Hacker gathered to discuss the issue of economic risk and the release of a report that analyzes how this risk affects Americans entitled Standing on Shaky Ground: Americans’ Experiences with Economic Insecurity. The report is based on a new two-wave survey of Americans that examines their experiences and perceptions between March 2008 and September 2009.

Deaf to History’s Rhyme: Why President Obama Is Failing

  • By
  • Thomas Palley,
  • New America Foundation
December 2, 2010 |

The great American novelist Mark Twain observed “history does not repeat itself but it rhymes.” Today the rhyme is with the 1930s, and if you don’t hear it, read FDR’s great Madison Square Garden speech of October 1936:

Handoff, or Fumble?

  • By
  • Noam Scheiber,
  • New America Foundation
October 20, 2010 |

In a much-anticipated speech on Friday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke invoked a favorite metaphor of economists to describe the current, critical period in the recovery. Now is the moment, he said, that a “handoff” must occur between temporary boosts to growth, like government stimulus, and more lasting drivers, like spending by consumers and businesses.

Desperate Measures

  • By
  • Noam Scheiber,
  • New America Foundation
October 27, 2010 |

With Republicans poised to sweep into office and obstruct Obama's agenda, is there anything he can do to revive the economy over the next two years? Last week I wrote about the possibility that we’re in a Japan-style recession—a rare form of economic disease that’s largely unresponsive to conventional remedies, like lower interest rates.

Fighting the Fed

  • By
  • Noam Scheiber,
  • New America Foundation
November 17, 2010 |

Last week, in between leading a graduate seminar on Proust and delivering a long-scheduled lecture on mass spectrometry, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin ventured a few ticks beyond her acknowledged area of expertise and reflected on monetary policy at a convention in Phoenix. The occasion for her unexpected soliloquy—I’m actually serious about the economics speech—was the Fed’s decision to buy some $600 billion in long-term government securities, a practice known as quantitative easing.

Getting Back in the Black

November 10, 2010

The Peterson-Pew Commission has just released its second report, Getting Back in the Black, offering recommendations for how to fix the broken federal budget process.

The Geography of Inequality

November 5, 2010

Following our recent event on "The United States of Inequality," Reid Cramer sat down for a conversation with Ray Brescia, Professor of Law at Albany Law School and talked about his recent paper on the relationship between high levels of inequality and high levels of foreclosure stemming from the Great Recession. Professor Brescia's paper shows the greater the income inequality in a state, on average, the greater the delinquency rate in that state or as Reid titled it, "the geography of inequality." 

Here's the whole discussion:

The Politics of Social Security

  • By Eric Laursen, Co-Author, Understanding the Crash
October 28, 2010

The Social Security debate is the longest-running domestic political tug-of-war in Washington. It began in 1981 when President Reagan floated a proposal to drastically cut old-age and survivors' benefits that met with immediate rejection from leaders of both parties in Congress.

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