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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pew Unveils Policy Recommendations to Solve Payday Loan Problems

“A report released by The Pew Charitable Trusts today provides guidance for federal and state policymakers on how to make the payday loan marketplace more safe, transparent, and predictable. According to a series of studies by Pew, repayment of these short-term loans takes 36 percent of the paycheck of the average borrower, who can afford to pay only 5 percent. As a result, the typical customer has to repeatedly “re-borrow” the money every two weeks, spends five months of the year in debt, and ultimately pays $520 in fees for the original loan of $375. “Payday loans fail to work as advertised,” said Nick Bourke, who directs Pew’s payday lending research. “They far exceed borrowers’ ability to repay, and—by a 3-to-1 margin—payday loan users say they want more regulation of the product. All small loans must have affordable payments. Payday loans do not. Pew’s research demonstrates effective ways to address this problem.” Payday Lending in America: Policy Solutions is the third report in a series that provides information for policymakers as they consider ways to make small-dollar loans work better for borrowers. Research is unclear on whether high-interest small loans are beneficial to consumers with poor credit histories, but better regulation is needed regardless. Based on findings from the reports, Pew recommends that when policymakers choose to allow these loans, the following regulations should be in place to minimize harm to consumers and to maintain a marketplace for lenders:

  • Limit payments to an affordable percentage of a borrower’s periodic income.
    (Research indicates that payments above 5 percent of gross income are often unaffordable.)
  • Spread costs evenly over the life of the loan.
  • Guard against harmful repayment requirements or collections practices.
  • Require concise disclosures that reflect periodic and total costs upfront.
  • Continue to set maximum allowable charges for small-dollar-loan markets that serve those with poor credit.”

BIS – Property price statistics

“The property price statistics bring together data from different countries. The BIS, with the assistance of its member central banks, 1 has obtained approval of various national data providers to disseminate the statistics as long as the original national sources are clearly indicated. The sources and any relevant disclaimers are listed separately (sources of data). Copyright in theseContinue Reading

Fundamental review of the trading book – second consultative document

“The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has today issued a second consultative paper on the fundamental review of capital requirements for the trading book. The paper comprises a detailed set of proposals for a comprehensive revision of the market risk framework. This initiative forms part of the Committee’s broader agenda to reform regulatory standards forContinue Reading

Market volatility and foreign exchange intervention in EMEs: what has changed?

BIS Papers No 73 – October 2013: “Huge swings in capital flows to and from emerging market economies (EMEs) over the past five years have led many countries to re-examine their foreign exchange market intervention strategies. Quite unlike their experiences in the early 2000s, several countries that had at different times resisted appreciation pressures suddenlyContinue Reading

Liquidity stress testing: a survey of theory, empirics and current industry and supervisory practices

BCBS Working Papers No 24 – October 2013: “Stress-testing is an important tool in developing a complete picture of an institution’s liquidity risk profile. What constitutes a good stress test is, however, not universally clear. Practices still differ widely, not only in the supervisory community, but also in the banking industry. The Research Task Force’sContinue Reading

Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture

“Young athletes in the U.S. face a “culture of resistance” to reporting when they might have a concussion and to complying with treatment plans, which could endanger their well-being, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council.  The report provides a broad examination of concussions in a variety of youthContinue Reading

Six Trends Driving Change in Government

The IBM Center for The Business of Government has looked across our interactions with government leaders and stakeholders, as well as the considerable work and thinking of our authors, to identify a set of trends that will drive change in government. Dan Chenok; John M. Kamensky; Michael J. Keegan; Gadi Ben-Yehuda – October 2013 “Today, government is in the midstContinue Reading

New Airline Rules: You May Be Able to Use Electronic Devices from Gate-to-Gate

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given airlines the ability to expand the use of personal electronic devices for passengers on board. That means you could soon be able to listen to your music or read books on an e-reader from gate-to-gate on your flight. Individual airlines will have the ability to determine when itContinue Reading

Treasury Department’s Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies

“The U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the Semi-Annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies that is required under Section 3005 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. The Report covers international economic and foreign exchange developments in the first half of 2013 and, where pertinent and available,Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Aviation Safety, Health Care Fraud, Homeland Security, Defense Acquisitions, Financial Crime, TARP

AVIATION SAFETY – Status of Recommendations to Improve FAA’s Certification and Approval Processes, GAO-14-142T, Oct 30, 2013 FEDERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE – Challenges with Oversight of Contract Guard Program Still Exist, and Additional Management Controls Are Needed, GAO-13-694, Sep 17, 2013 HEALTH CARE FRAUD AND ABUSE CONTROL PROGRAM – Indicators Provide Information on Program Accomplishments, but Assessing Program Effectiveness isContinue Reading

Uniform Agreement on the Classification and Appraisal of Securities Held by Financial Institutions

Financial Institution Letter – FIL-51-2013 – October 29, 2013: “The FDIC and the other federal banking agencies are issuing the attached joint statement to update and revise the 2004 Uniform Agreement on the Classification of Assets and Appraisal of Securities Held by Banks and Thrifts (2004 Agreement). The statement reiterates the importance of a robust investment analysis process and theContinue Reading

BLS – Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2012

“In 2012, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $691. On average in 2012, women made about 81 percent of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($854). In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women earned 62 percent of  what men earned.  This October 2013 report presents data highlightsContinue Reading