What’s New – November 23rd

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Nov 232010

Read about the Center for Financial Policy’s First Policy Chat, with Art Murton from FDIC.

The Center for Financial Policy at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is proud to partner with the DC Chapter of the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) for a new speaker series on risk management. The Chief Risk Officer Speaker Series will kick-off on Dec. 15 in Washington, D.C., with Brenda Boultwood, CRO of Constellation Energy, who will discuss “A Strategic Approach to Enterprise Risk Management.”

The Smith School and the Pew Financial Reform Project will sponsor a public reception on Monday November 29 at 6 p.m. to mark the establishment of the Office of Financial Research and to release a National Science Foundation Workshop Report on Knowledge Representation for Financial Information Management.  Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) was a key sponsor of the OFR and will present introductory remarks at the reception.

Check out more News Updates at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/cfp/news.aspx.

Nov 182010

by Ethan Cohen-Cole

Originally posted at http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2010/11/why-a-foreclosure-compensation-fund-is-a-bad-idea.html.

The Washington Post yesterday wrote :

“State attorneys general and the country’s biggest lenders are negotiating to create a nationwide fund to compensate borrowers who can prove they lost their home in an improper foreclosure”

The fund is being compared to the BP oil spill and other general compensation funds.

A general compensation fund is reasonable if a large, non-specific damage has occurred. In such a case, one needs some intermediary to figure out who was damaged and by how much. In the foreclosure example, we don’t have generalized damage; each bank in question had the ability (and the responsibility) to evaluate each document.

A compensation fund would validate the idea that foreclosures are necessarily an error-ridden and imprecise process; that is, that robo-signers are the way of the world.

Do we really want to put the burden of proof on borrowers? If the note holder can’t figure out ownership, how could we expect a homeowner to do it? See huffpost on this.

Anything short of holding the banks fully responsible for current legal requirements is yet another subsidy.

Read more of Ethan’s blog articles at http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/.

What’s New?

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Nov 112010

Check out our new and improved website – http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/cfp/

November 10, 2010
Cliff Rossi quoted Wall Street Journal, Mortgage Lenders Set Back in Courts. “Over the long run, the foreclosure process could take a few weeks longer as a result of changes made by mortgage companies”

Oct 28 & Oct 29, 2010
Cliff Rossi quoted in American Banker articles:
Mortgage Mess Sparks Call for Federal Foreclosure Standards
Foreclosure Mess Another Systemic Failure to Spot Trouble

October 28-29, 2010
Finance Professors Haluk Ünal (Conference Organizer) and Pete Kyle (Session Chair and Discussant) will participate at the 10th Annual Bank Research Conference Agenda Finance and Sustainable Growth sponsored by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Center for Financial Research and the Journal of Financial Services Research.

October 19, 2010
Cliff Rossi on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Read the Transcript.

Nov 102010

Continued weakness in consumer confidence, employment and house prices reinforces the urgent need for effective and comprehensive measures to stabilize the housing market. Thus far policy solutions for housing have been largely fragmented and reactive to emerging problems rather than offering a coordinated strategy executed to achieve long-term market stabilization. This threatens to prolong the crisis which continues to erode confidence, housing market activity and overburdens already weak servicing operations.

The threat of job loss and future home price erosion are strong deterrents to home purchase.  Understanding the drivers of weak housing market demand and oversupply leading to disequilibrium is critical to fashioning a successful policy response that will ultimately stimulate demand, reduce housing inventories and stabilize home prices long-term.  A workable solution to achieve market stabilization must ensure that incentives are aligned across market participants, and is designed such that borrowers, lenders, investors and the government share in the costs and benefits in an equitable manner.  The current housing crisis signals a classic market failure which requires a clear federal role at bringing stability to the market. However, that role does not mean adding additional financial burdens to taxpayers. A creative and comprehensive private-public housing policy initiative utilizing a combination of shared-equity programs and net worth certificate-like instruments shown below could over time stabilize the market while imposing no direct costs long-term to the federal government.

Click below to enlarge the image:

Clifford V. Rossi, PhD, Executive-in-Residence and Tyser Teaching Fellow
Center for Financial Policy
Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland

Contact Information: crossi@rhsmith.umd.edu or 301-908-2536

For additional studies, analyses and information, please visit the Center for Financial Policy website at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/cfp/.

The views of this article are those of the author solely and do not represent those of the Center for Financial Policy or the University of Maryland.