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The Unequal Mortgage Market Is No Coincidence

Michela Zonta, Center for American Progress: “Persistent racial and ethnic inequality in the mortgage market is not a coincidence. Nearly 50 years after the adoption of the Fair Housing Act, newly released federal data indicate that people of color continued to lose ground in the homeownership market in 2013. In particular, black and Hispanic households continued to represent a shrinking fraction of the mortgage market and received higher-cost loans compared with white borrowers. Tragically, many prospective black and Hispanic homeowners never reach the loan-decision stage of the home buying process. People of color are still being treated unequally in the home mortgage market, even when they demonstrate an ability to repay their loans. Blacks and Hispanics are more than twice as likely to be denied a mortgage as non-Hispanic whites with comparable incomes and risk profiles. However, the disparate treatment received by people of color is not confined solely to the loan approval stage of the mortgage lending process and does not necessarily take the form of a loan denial. Discrimination based on race or ethnicity can take several forms during any stage of the process. During the pre-application stage, for example, lenders may discourage borrowers of color from continuing with the loan application process even though they may qualify for a loan. Lenders also may not provide the same information to applicants of color that they provide to white applicants. Further, pair testing studies—in which two individuals pose as equally qualified borrowers in every respect except their race or ethnicity and inquire about the availability and terms of home mortgage loans—demonstrate that people of color are consistently treated differently than equally qualified whites.”

IG – Lessons Learned From the Federal Reserve’s Supervision of JPMorgan Chase

The Board Should Enhance Its Supervisory Processes as a Result of Lessons Learned From the Federal Reserve’s Supervision of JPMorgan Chase & Company’s Chief Investment Office “Our report contains four findings. First, as part of its continuous monitoring activities at JPMC, FRB New York effectively identified risks related to the CIO’s trading activities and plannedContinue Reading

Enhancing Financial Stability by Improving Culture in the Financial Services Industry

William C. Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer – Remarks at the Workshop on Reforming Culture and Behavior in the Financial Services Industry, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City, October 20, 2014. As prepared for delivery: “As I noted earlier at the start of today’s workshop, improving culture in the financial services industry isContinue Reading

Medicare Beneficiaries Paid Nearly Half of the Costs for Outpatient Services at Critical Access Hospitals

HHS IG Report (OEI-05-12-00085), October 7, 2014 “The Critical Access Hospital (CAH) certification was created to ensure that rural beneficiaries would have access to hospital services. Medicare reimburses CAHs at 101 percent of their “reasonable costs,” rather than at the predetermined rates set by the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). The system that Medicare uses toContinue Reading

Government Debt Management at the Zero Lower Bound

This paper re-examines government debt management policy in light of the U.S. experience with extraordinary fiscal and monetary policies since 2008. Brookings – Robin Greenwood, Samuel G. Hanson, Joshua S. Rudolph and Lawrence H. Summers: “We first document that the Treasury’s decision to lengthen the average maturity of the debt has partially offset the Federal Reserve’sContinue Reading

SIGAR – Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) – Poppy Cultivation in Afghanistan: After a Decade of Reconstruction and Over $7 Billion in Counternarctics Efforts, Poppy Cultivation Levels Are At An All Time-High, October 2014. “As of June 30, 2014, the United States has spent approximately $7.6 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. Multiple sources ofContinue Reading

Payday Lending in America

“Pew’s Payday Lending in America series sheds light on the experience of borrowers. The research also details fundamental problems with payday loans, and suggests how policymakers can help solve these problems.” Includes the following resources: Payday Lending in America: Fraud and Abuse Online Payday Lending in America: Overview of Policy Recommendations Payday Lending in America:Continue Reading

New GAO Report – Combatting Terrorism

Strategy to Counter Iran in the Western Hemisphere Has Gaps That State Department Should Address, GAO-14-834: Published: Sep 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 2014. “The activities of Iranian government elements, such as a 2011 attempt to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in the United States, could pose a threat to U.S. national security. Congress enacted theContinue Reading

Free Public Access to Federal Materials on Guide to Law Online

[Via Emily Carr, Senior Legal Research Specialist, Library of Congress] – this posting by Ann Hemmens, legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress: “Through an agreement with the Library of Congress, the publisher William S. Hein & Co., Inc. has generously allowed the Law Library of Congress to offer free online access to historical U.S. legal materialsContinue Reading

Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges

Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges. Michael V. Seitzinger, Legislative Attorney; Kathleen Ann Ruane, Legislative Attorney. October 15, 2014. “Two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) require that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and inContinue Reading

Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws

CRS – Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws. Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist in American Public Law. October 15, 2014. “The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes  computer systems. It is a cyber security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computersContinue Reading

Security – a perpetual war: lessons from nature

Via Cornell University Library – Security – a perpetual war: lessons from nature, Wojciech Mazurczyk, Elżbieta Rzeszutko (Submitted on 17 Oct 2014) “For ages people have sought inspiration in nature. Biomimicry has been the  propelling power of such inventions, like Velcro tape or “cat’s eyes” – retroreflective road marking. At the same time, scientists have been developing biologicallyContinue Reading