Updates / Financial Services


By / 8.2.2012

Editor’s Note: This item is cross-posted from Innovation and Growth.  Bill Gross of Pimco has just written a piece where he argues that the real return on stocks in the future will be much lower than the long-term historical average of 6.6%: Yet the 6.6% real return belied a commonsensical flaw much like that of a chain letter […]

The Atlantic highlights PPI’s proposal to create “HomeK” accounts for home buyers to aid in the purchase of new homes. The article further suggests that such accounts could replace mortgage interest deductions. The mortgage interest deduction probably isn’t going anywhere soon. Voters are far too fond of it, and politicians are loathe to nix a […]

By / 7.16.2012

Editor’s Note: This item is cross-posted from Innovation and Growth. I found myself reacting to the Libor scandal more strongly than a lot of the earlier revelations of financial institutions misdeeds. First, the banks were just blatant out-and-out lying about a simple number. Second, their lying led to a distortion of a crucial piece of publicly […]

By / 3.9.2012

In a classic example of a “slippery slope,” Congress once again is looking for easy pickings by increasing guarantee fees (g-fees) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge lenders to guarantee their mortgage lending. Last December, Congress raised the GSE’s g-fee by 10 basis points for 10 years. The goal was to raise almost $36 […]

By / 3.1.2012

This week in housing was an especially busy one; PPI looks at just a few highlights with Case-Shiller numbers, a new government pilot program on housing and a huge announcement from Bank of America. Let’s get to it. 1. S&P Case-Shiller, the leading Index of national housing values, came out on Monday. The December data […]

By / 6.7.2011

Whether U.S. Presidents succeed or fail often depends on a big factor beyond their control: the timing of the business cycle. Lucky Presidents – Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush – experienced downturns early in their first term, leaving plenty of time for an economic rebound to lift them to reelection. Barack Obama, who took office […]

By / 6.1.2011

Amid the high drama of fiscal brinkmanship in Washington, it’s easy to forget that reducing budget deficits isn’t the biggest economic challenge we face. Even more important is kick-starting the great American job machine and reversing our country’s slide in global competition. Critical to both goals is shoring up the decaying physical foundations of national […]

By / 10.20.2010

It’s crazy, I know, but imagine that U.S. political leaders after the midterm election called a truce in the partisan tong wars to work out a compromise solution to the nation’s fiscal dilemmas. The result would probably look a lot like a new fiscal reform blueprint drawn up by two canny policy veterans, Bill Galston […]

By / 8.17.2010

The GSE conference at Treasury today included plenty of big names and good thoughts about the lingering question of how to restructure Fannie and Freddie before releasing them back into the wild.  But one thing missing from the agenda was a sense of urgency.  The conference wasn’t intended to move GSEs up on the agenda […]

By / 8.12.2010

The economic news out of Washington this week has an eerie ring of déjà vu: Congress just passed an emergency spending bill, the Fed is buying debt securities to keep the economy from sliding toward collapse, and the Administration announced it is committing billions of dollars to mortgage relief for homeowners facing foreclosure. To be […]