Subject: Financial Reform

  • The Silent Expansion of Fiscal Control Boards in the U.S.

    The power and process of boards that take control of a city or territory's finances is becoming more generalized, although they affect local democracy, impose austerity measures without controls, and lack mechanisms to evaluate their efficiency.     Regardless of…

  • Trump’s Upside-Down Plan: Tax Cuts Come at the Expense of Working Families

    This past Wednesday, President Donald Trump released a one-page outline of a tax plan that he says provides tax relief for the middle class, but in reality, the plan is basically a massive tax cut for the rich. Don’t be…

  • CFPB: Government for the People

    Those of us who work in regulated industries, such as banking institutions and credit unions, often succumb to the temptation to see government regulators as adversaries and to view any restrictions they impose as unreasonable curbs on free enterprise. Increasingly,…

  • All the Fury Over CFPB Ignores Its Modest Mission

    Ever since its creation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been the focus of heated controversy, with banks and politicians alike calling for cutbacks in its authority, if not the agency's outright elimination. The threats to the agency's future…

  • Why Are Biased Banks Getting High CRA Marks from Regulators?

    The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) statute has a statement of purpose affirming that banks “are required by law to demonstrate that their deposit facilities serve the convenience and needs of the communities in which they are chartered to do business.”…

  • Fairness and The Financial System

    Trying to bring fairness to financial transactions for everyday people has long been both an avocation and passion for me, anchored largely in my belief in the “Golden Rule,” that we should treat others as we would have them treat…

  • Public Benefits and Bank Mergers

    Community organizations are generally aware that when a bank wants to acquire another bank, it must submit a merger application to a federal agency. But many community organizations may not be aware that federal agencies are required to take public…

  • Unfriend Your Neighbor to Get a Loan?

    Want to be that one person who bootstraps themselves out of poverty and makes it, against all odds? Not if Facebook has anything to do with it. Now, we already know that that rags-to-riches part of the American myth is…

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    Beware the Scammers

    This weekend I encountered a representative of an energy service company on my porch. He was flashing a badge at me and telling me that because I hadn't responded to a call from my utility company he was just there…

  • 5 Reasons Why Housing Finance Reform Can’t Wait

    [Ed note: Last Thursday the Johnson Crapo housing finance reform bill was voted out of the Senate banking committee, 13-9, which was not enough to force a vote on the Senate floor or make its passage likely.] If Congress doesn’t…

  • ‘Ohana-Based Approach to Incentivized Youth Savings

    How can we measure the impact of incentivized youth savings beyond just financial impacts? Hawai‘i Island ‘ohana participating in the Kids’ Saving Initiative This was one of the many questions posed at CFED’s well-attended Children’s Savings Account Conference. Incentivized youth…

  • Watch These Panelists Explain What’s Missing in the GSE Reform Debate

    The National Community Reinvestment Coalition last week brought together a panel of experts to discuss the future of housing finance within an uncertain future for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Called, "Locked Out: What Losing Fannie, Freddie, and the Affordable…

  • If Banks Aren’t Serving the Poor, Who Is?

    Over the past few months I’ve written short pieces on my work as a teller at a check cashing store in the South Bronx in Public Books, The Atlantic, and the New Yorker.  I posted the links to these pieces…

  • Got Something to Say? We’re Listening

    In my experience with both the nonprofit and corporate worlds, I have seen how the most effective leaders pay close attention to what their key stakeholders—customers, clients, employees and investors—have to say about what they are doing. But leaders who…

  • Shelterforce Asks: Should Rep. Watt Take the Helm of the FHFA?

    As Senate Democrats and Republicans gear up to battle over President Obama's nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to replace Ed DeMarco as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, advocates, too, are debating whether the congressman from North Carolina…

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    Achieving Reinvestment: NCRC’s 2013 Award Winners

    The National Community Reinvestment Coalition presented its 2013 National Achievement Awards to leaders in expanding fair access to financial services. NCRC is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and…

  • Invest in Consumers, Bolster Your Bottom Line

    The more financial coaching people receive, the more financially resilient they’ll become. That’s what a recent study conducted by NeighborWorks® America affirms. In fact, NeighborWorks found that borrowers who enrolled in its pre-mortgage purchase counseling program were one-third less likely…

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    Deflating a GOP Double Standard

    After the sequester cut teaching jobs, Head Start spots, senior food programs, and access to nutrition assistance for over half a million women and their families, the GOP revealed its brand new short-term budget bill for 2013. Buried on page…

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    Getting the Mortgage Market Back on Track

    Of all the things government can and should do about housing, creating a strong, responsive mortgage market may be more important for the future of American families, neighborhoods and cities than anything else. Over the past decade we’ve seen how…

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    Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction Vulnerable?

    Shelterforce and the National Housing Institute have been outspoken about the need to change the mortgage interest deduction — the country’s largest housing subsidy, which accrues primarily to wealthy households — for decades. But because it reaches so many people…

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