Issue Brief posted July 1, 2015
Puerto Rico Needs Economic Freedom, Not Bailouts
Puerto Rico is in a debt crisis, and Governor Alejandro García Padilla (D) has announced that “the debt is not payable” given the commonwealth’s large deficits and collapsing economy. Presenting a government-commissioned report, economist Anne Krueger explained that the origin of Puerto Rico’s debt is decades of stimulus spending and economic stagnation:
Issue Brief posted June 4, 2015
House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations: The Highway to Bankruptcy
The House of Representatives will soon consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The THUD appropriations bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.
The bill provides $55.3 billion in discretionary budget authority. This represents a $1.5 billion increase above the current…
Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015
The Federal Housing Administration: What Record of Success?
More than 80 years ago, Congress passed a series of laws that significantly expanded the federal government’s presence in the housing finance system. These federal programs have grown and contributed to an explosion of mortgage debt over the past few decades. Homeownership rates, however, have barely changed since the late 1960s.
The long-term increase in mortgage debt…
Backgrounder posted March 20, 2015
Financial Market Utilities: One More Dangerous Concept in Dodd–Frank
An underreported problem with the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is that it broadens the concept of what constitutes a public utility. In particular, Title VIII of Dodd–Frank confers a special status on firms that it identifies as financial market utilities (FMUs). This change marks a dangerous shift in the relationship between…
Backgrounder posted February 11, 2015
Why Congress Should Institute Rules-Based Monetary Policy
Many economists take for granted that the Federal Reserve has contributed positively to economic stabilization in the U.S., but its track record warrants a critical appraisal. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 the U.S. has experienced the Great Depression in the 1930s, severe inflation and unemployment during the 1970s, a major banking crisis in the 1980s,…