Credit Crunch

Blind Trust

  • By
  • Tim Fernholz,
  • New America Foundation
November 17, 2010 |

The mortgage mess isn't going away. Loans, sold as many as 12 times before ending up in a complex security or on a financial institution's balance sheet, have been found with key legal paperwork misplaced or incorrectly transferred. If you've followed the issue, you know documentation problems prevent mortgage servicers from foreclosing on homes: They lack proof of their legal right to do so. It's a symptom of underlying irregularities, not the end of the story.

A Recovery At Risk

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
October 11, 2010

Click here to download the slideshow, "A Recovery at Risk."

The American Social Contract

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • New America Foundation
September 28, 2010

The Great Recession has put enormous strain on the American social contract, exposing not only the many holes in our social safety net but also the weaknesses in its basic design and philosophy.

The Voyage Home

  • By
  • Andrés Martinez,
  • New America Foundation
September 16, 2010 |

Mariachi music and the Potomac River don’t often find themselves in the same sentence, but Mexico turned 200 overnight, so an exception had to be made. Mariachi music did indeed waft over the Potomac, emanating from the Grito celebration on the esplanade of the Kennedy Center. Ozomatli played, fireworks ensued, naturally, and thousands of melancholic Mexicans toasted 200 years of independence from the old empire in the capital of the empire many of them feel replaced it.

The Voyage Home

  • By
  • Andrés Martinez,
  • New America Foundation
September 16, 2010 |

Mariachi music and the Potomac River don’t often find themselves in the same sentence, but Mexico turned 200 overnight, so an exception had to be made. Mariachi music did indeed waft over the Potomac, emanating from the Grito celebration on the esplanade of the Kennedy Center. Ozomatli played, fireworks ensued, naturally, and thousands of melancholic Mexicans toasted 200 years of independence from the old empire in the capital of the empire many of them feel replaced it.

Public Purpose Finance

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
September 9, 2010

Executive Summary

Rebuilding the American economy in the aftermath of the most severe global economic crisis since the Great Depression can be achieved in part with the aid of public economic development banks that can leverage private capital for public purposes that include investment in infrastructure, energy, R&D, manufacturing and skills development. 

Focusing on Innovation

  • By Michael Mandel, Visible Economy LLC
September 6, 2010

The first step in treating a severe illness is making the correct diagnosis.  Since passing the stimulus package in early 2009, President Obama and his economics team have groped for a good explanation of why the economy remains stuck in a long-term slump, and in particular, why job growth has remained so slow.  The answers have variously been high health care costs, fiscal profligacy by the Bush administration, recklessness on Wall Street, excess dependence on foreign oil,  and a poor education system.

Promoting Recovery through Cheap Credit for Small Businesses

  • By Robert Pollin, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
September 6, 2010

The single most important reason for the failure of the recovery to take hold thus far is that private credit markets are locked up, especially for small businesses.  Private business borrowing and lending is at a standstill, while private banks are holding an unprecedented $1.1 trillion in cash reserves in their Federal Reserve accounts.  In 2007, before the recession began, the banks held only $20 billion in reserves.  The 2007 figure was itself dangerously low.  But a nearly $1 trillion turnaround in bank reserve holdings is a new form of Wall Street excess.

Plan B for Obama

  • By
  • Thomas Palley,
  • New America Foundation
September 6, 2010

Mr. President:

With hopes of a V- or U-shaped recovery fading, there is the increasing prospect of an L-shaped future of long stagnation, or even a W-shaped future in which W stands for something worse. The reason for this dismal outlook is economic policy is trapped by failed conventional thinking that can only deliver wage stagnation and prolonged mass unemployment.

Your administration’s current economic recovery program has been marked by four major failings:

Monetary Policy’s Role in America’s Economic Recovery

  • By Joseph Gagnon, Peterson Institute for International Economics
September 6, 2010

At this year’s Jackson Hole conference for central bankers, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that the economic recovery so far this year has been “somewhat less vigorous than we expected,” but he expressed hope that the economy would return to a more satisfactory growth rate next year.  Considering that the Fed was already projecting a markedly slower recovery than America experienced after previous deep recessions, the Fed’s economic objectives are far too modest.  Ideally, the US economy should be growing at a 5 percent rate in 2010 and 2011 to recover lost ground and get work

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