BPC Blog

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

Defined Contribution (DC) accounts, such as 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), make up a large and growing part of retirement security for those employed in the private sector. 

Defined contribution retirement plan

Mexico Opens Energy Sector to Private Investors
By Juan Montes, The Wall Street Journal

“Mexican lawmakers late Wednesday completed an historic opening of the country's energy sector to private investors after 76 years of state monopoly, in a move with far-reaching implications for the sector and the country's economy.

“Completion of the overhaul is a political victory for President Enrique Peña Nieto, who made it the cornerstone of a reformist agenda intended to improve Mexico's competitiveness and stimulate economic growth. The victory seemed unthinkable to many when he took office in December 2012. Over the past quarter century, every Mexican president had tried but failed to secure political support to diminish the state energy monopoly."

Under the proposed bill, all federal loan borrowers will be automatically enrolled in an income-based repayment program

The program, previously in existence but drastically underutilized, directly transfers 10 percent of the borrowers’ annual incomes from their monthly paychecks towards repayment of their debt, with an annual $10,000 income exemption clause.

Tomorrow is primary day in Alaska and Wyoming. This post offers handy links and tools to ensure voters in both states are prepared as they head to the polls.

We gathered a few quick reads to catch you up to speed on pressing foreign conflicts and national security issues.

Peter Elkowitz

The 2014 Housing Summit is one month away. Hear what Peter Elkowitz, president and CEO of the Long Island Housing Partnership is looking forward to discussing with his fellow panelists on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 16. The panel will tackle the questions about how to improve access to mortgage credit for responsible borrowers. Peter also recently contributed to our expert forum about shared equity housing models. You can check out more here

“When Measuring Big Banks’ Subsidy, First Count the Costs,” op-ed in American Banker
By Aaron Klein and Peter Ryan

“Estimates of a funding advantage for large banks need to take into account the full measure of the post-Dodd-Frank legislative and regulatory response. Studies need to account for the impact of all the policy changes put in place after the crisis, as well as the regulatory regime that goes with them. With that broader view, hopefully the debate can shift back towards a conversation about the hard work of making financial reform more effective, boosting economic growth and protecting consumers.”

Erdoğan has effectively established a system that is neither parliamentary nor presidential, but simply personalized

On August 10, Turks go to the polls in an election widely expected to deliver another electoral victory for Turkey’s strongman, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His election is likely to be the result of a now-typical combination of circumstances: a formidable campaign machine, a weak opposition, a strong economy – but also a widespread use of administrative and financial resources that have tilted Turkey’s electoral playing field, and means that the country’s elections may still be free, but certainly not fair. Erdoğan will view his election as a coronation; as a confirmation that he is now the undisputed leader of Turkey. Few will note that he is technically moving to a less powerful position – and in this sense, the main implication of his move to the presidential palace is likely to be a further de-institutionalization of power in Turkey.

While much of the bill’s funding will sunset after two years, Congress will face pressure to extend it permanently

Several weeks ago, we blogged about bills circulating in the House and Senate that would reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and provide new healthcare options for veterans. Today, President Obama signed a compromise bill championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), the leaders of a conference committee tasked with ironing out differences between the two bills. BPC applauds lawmakers for reaching across the aisle on this critical issue, though we are concerned about the bill’s fiscal implications.

QUESTION: Americans now hold close to $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt making it the second largest form of consumer debt after home mortgages. What are the implications for housing markets, household formation, and economic mobility for the next generation? Are there creative approaches to reduce the burden?

The Subprime Education Crisis
By David A. Smith

Remember the subprime housing crisis? Now we have a subprime education crisis. This one is worse in two ways: asset-value recovery and a flawed governance model that is simply making the problem worse.


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