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  • Center for Policy Innovation Discussion Paper posted May 29, 2013 by Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D., David C. John, Sean Rust Boosting Economic Mobility Through Prize-Linked Savings

    Discussions of economic mobility explore why some people are successful in moving up the economic ladder during their lifetime while others are not. While there is much debate about the degree of opportunity in America, there is general agreement that there seem to be significant and worrying obstacles facing Americans starting out in households at the bottom end of the…

  • Backgrounder posted April 10, 2013 by David C. John Eight Steps to Eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—Permanently

    Now that housing is beginning to show signs of a sustained recovery, it is time to create a new and modern private-sector housing finance system to replace the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)—that caused many of the problems. Between the time…

  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2013 by Diane Katz, David C. John Mortgage Regulation: Is CFPB Qualified?

    More stringent regulation of mortgage lending constitutes a sizable chunk of the vast Dodd–Frank statute. As required, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Thursday released more than 800 pages of rules that will largely determine the availability and cost of mortgages. Neither consumers nor creditors emerge as winners. The mortgage rules were called for by…

  • Issue Brief posted December 19, 2012 by David C. John Three Social Security Fixes to Solve the Real Fiscal Crisis

    A solution to the fiscal cliff should include changes to Social Security. Demands that Social Security should be taken off the table, such as those made by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)[1] and several others, are both misguided and wrong. Although Social Security has a trust fund that will last for just over 20 years, it is already running massive cash-flow deficits that…

  • Issue Brief posted December 10, 2012 by David C. John TAG: Phase Out Unlimited Bank Deposit Guarantees

    In 2008, in the midst of a financial crisis, federal regulators extended bank deposit guarantees beyond the statutory $250,000 limit to cover all “transaction,” or checking, deposits. Later codified by Congress, the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program is due to expire on December 31, 2012. Congress is considering a two-year extension. It should not do so. TAG…

  • Issue Brief posted November 27, 2012 by David C. John Stop the Menendez–Boxer Sideshow: End Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Now

    It is time to end Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For over four years, Congress has failed to start the process of phasing out the two failed mortgage finance giants and replace them with a private-sector mortgage finance system. Most of the time, opponents used the excuse that housing markets were just too weak to do anything that might delay the housing recovery, leaving…

  • Issue Brief posted October 18, 2012 by David C. John Time to Address the Retirement Savings Crisis

    Americans’ ability to build a secure retirement is increasingly in danger. In addition to Social Security’s rapidly approaching fiscal problems and underfunded traditional defined-benefit pensions, the retirement savings system is available to only about half of the workforce and needs other improvements before today’s workers can create sufficient retirement income. The…

  • Play Movie Medicare, Payroll Taxes & Social Security - David John on Inside E Street Video Recorded on October 7, 2012 Medicare, Payroll Taxes & Social Security - David John on Inside E Street

    Senior Research Fellow David John discusses the Medicare eligibility age and the implications of increasing payroll tax rates and reducing Social Security benefits for higher earners on MPT's Inside E Street.…

  • Testimony posted September 11, 2012 by David C. John TRIA: Time to End the Program

    Testimony before Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, Committee on Financial Services, United States House of Representatives September 11, 2012 Chairman Biggert and Ranking Member Gutierrez, thank you for inviting me to participate in this hearing. I am David C. John, the Senior Research…

  • Issue Brief posted August 7, 2012 by David C. John LIBOR Rigging Scandal: No New Laws Necessary

    As the evidence mounts about the scope of efforts to rig the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), a significant financial index, the predictable calls for new laws and even a radical restructuring of major segments of the financial services industry are coming from both the U.S. and Europe. However, facts show that new laws are not needed. The system worked. It is…

  • Issue Brief posted July 13, 2012 by David C. John San Bernardino County’s Loan Seizures Would Destroy Its Mortgage Market Just as Housing Starts to Recover

    The drive to force mortgage investors to refinance loans where the homeowner owes more than the house is currently worth (often know as underwater mortgages) is reaching absurd levels. In the latest example, California’s San Bernardino County is exploring using eminent domain to seize certain mortgages and require the investors that own them to accept refinancing that…

  • Backgrounder posted June 12, 2012 by David C. John Postal Pension “Refund” Is a Disguised Taxpayer Bailout

    Abstract: Calls to refund “overpayments” by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to the retirement of postal workers are misguided. The estimates of overpayments are inflated by overly optimistic assumptions, as recent years have demonstrated. A refund would leave taxpayers on the hook for future shortfalls in USPS retirement funding. The better choice is to follow the…

  • Issue Brief posted June 11, 2012 by David C. John Reauthorize and Reform the Flood Insurance Program

    Congress should reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The failure of Congress to pass a longer term reauthorization since the last one expired in September 2008 has delayed necessary reforms. In addition, since there are no private providers of general flood insurance coverage in the United States, all such policies come through the NFIP. The…

  • Commentary posted May 19, 2012 by David C. John Over-Regulation Can't Safeguard Against Rapidly Changing Circumstances

    Even if it eventually doubles or triples, J.P. Morgan Chase's $2 billion loss doesn't mean that either the bank or the financial system is in crisis. And it certainly doesn't mean additional regulations are needed. J.P. Morgan Chase is a $2.3 trillion bank with a net worth of $189 billion. While the bank's loss represents a clear failure of management, it's…

  • Issue Brief posted April 26, 2012 by David C. John Volcker Rule May Make the Financial and Banking System Riskier

    By now, it should be clear even to casual observers that the Volcker Rule, which was intended to limit the “risky” activities of banks by banning them from certain types of transactions, will be nearly impossible to implement without severe unintended damage to the U.S. financial system and many other types of businesses both here in the U.S. and overseas. Even…