BPC Blog

Oct. 30, 2014
As the new Congress seeks ways to improve financial regulation, we believe there are more bipartisan areas of agreement than most suspect

With midterm elections looming, Washington is paying keen attention to a few hotly-contested elections that will likely determine whether the Senate will flip from Democratic to Republican control. Regardless of which party ends up in charge, the Senate ought to focus on a few key financial regulation issues.

If IS were able to take Kobani, it would control three border crossings between Turkey and Syria, and 60 miles of the Turkish border

The Kurdish-held, Syrian border town of Kobani has emerged as a new front in the regional struggle against IS. It has been under siege by the group calling itself the Islamic State since mid-September.

Housing agencies recognize it is possible to manage risk with sound underwriting, while simultaneously expanding access to mortgage credit

There’s no question that “put back” risk – the prospect that the GSEs will require mortgage lenders to repurchase defaulted loans even years after origination – is a major factor contributing to excessively tight credit standards that have dampened the housing market. If the goal is to improve access to mortgage credit, then clarifying and easing the rules regarding put backs is a critical step.

Retirement in America: What’s Working and What’s Not?

As we discussed in our recent posts on longevity risk and long-term care risk, Americans today face the challenge of ensuring that their accumulated savings are sufficient to last through the end of their lives. For individuals who are covered by defined benefit (DB) pension plans, some of the risks in retirement are ameliorated – the plans manage participants’ retirement investments and can provide retirees with a steady monthly income. But DB plans have disappeared from many American workplaces over the last few decades.

As midterm elections near, several outlets are analyzing the role of immigration in races around the country. With executive action and the summer influx of migrants from Central America still largely in the minds of American voters, immigration and border security have become key issues in many contested races, from Louisiana to New Hampshire to Colorado.

Turkey has nominally joined, albeit begrudgingly and after much reluctance, the U.S.-led coalition confronting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Washington and Ankara are having trouble coming to an understanding; they can’t even agree on what they agree. On October 13, National Security Advisor Susan Rice announced that Turkey would allow the United States to use the Incirlik air base in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), only to have the deal denied by the Turkish foreign minister. This communications failure is not only the result of crossed diplomatic cables, but also is symptomatic of a much graver problem that has been festering for too long: the United States and Turkey, although treaty allies, no longer share the same interests.

Earlier this fall, Resources for the Future invited a slew of experts to comment on questions related to the administration’s Clean Power Plan, including who (and how) should translate the states’ assigned rate-based goals into mass-based goals?

Upcoming: you will soon have the opportunity to read our latest paper, which will be released at our forthcoming event, “The Big Bank Theory: Breaking Down the Break-Up Argument.” The event will be held on October 28, 2014 from 10:00AM-11:30AM at BPC (register here). We hope you will come and hear from our paper co-authors: Martin Neil Baily, Douglas Elliott, and Phillip Swagel who will be joined by former Senator Ted Kaufman, BPC Task Force Member Randall Guynn, Cato Institute Scholar Arnold Kling, and the Senior Vice President of Bankrate.com Greg McBride. The event will be moderated by Neil Irwin, Senior Economic Correspondent for The New York Times

Today, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission released the Safety Evaluation Report Volume 3: Repository Safety After Permanent Closure. The report documents the results of the NRC evaluation of the license application submitted by the Bush Administration in June 2008.

Retirement in America: What’s Working and What’s Not?

As we discussed in our last post, Americans today face the challenge of ensuring that their accumulated savings are sufficient to last through the end of their lives. This challenge is magnified by the potential need for long-term care during their retirement years.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced new layers of enhanced entry screening procedures at five major U.S. airports

With the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, and the first death by Ebola in the United States, many are asking how the U.S. government screens incoming foreign visitors for health purposes.

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