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Daily Archives: August 11, 2014

Nonbank Specialty Servicers: What’s the Big Deal?

Pamela Lee – Urban Institute, August 4, 2014: “Following the crisis, nonbank specialty servicers rapidly expanded their portfolios of distressed loans. This has contributed to a significant market change: in 2011, the 10 largest mortgage servicers were all banks; by 2013, only five of the top 10 were banks, and the other five were nonbank servicers. The rapid growth and lack of a federal regulator have contributed to significant, heated regulatory scrutiny. This commentary discusses major concerns raised about the largest nonbank servicers, focusing on the three fastest-growing large nonbank servicers. We explore the regulatory and market framework driving their striking growth, then address the major charges against them, in an effort to elevate the debate and inform sound policy.”

Africa’s Vultures Threatened By An Assault on All Fronts

Madeline Bodin – Yale environment360: “Vultures are being killed on an unprecedented scale across Africa, with the latest slaughter perpetrated by elephant poachers who poison the scavenging birds so they won’t give away the location of their activities. In July 2013, roughly 600 vultures died after scavenging a dead elephant that had been poisoned near Namibia’s BwabwataContinue Reading

Rethinking ERISA’s Promise of Income Security in a World of 401(k) Plans

Frolik, Lawrence A., Rethinking ERISA’s Promise of Income Security in a World of 401(k) Plans (July 22, 2014). Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, Vol. 20, p. 371, 2014; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-26. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2470019 “This article discusses the evolution of retirement income funds from defined benefit packages toContinue Reading

USPS has 2% revenue increase, $2 billion loss in quarter 3

News release: “The U.S. Postal Service ended the June 30, 2014, quarter with a net loss of $2.0 billion, compared to a net loss of $740 million for the same period last year. The Postal Service has recorded a loss in 21 of the last 23 quarters, the excepted quarters being the two in which CongressContinue Reading

Delivering a Customer-Focused Government Through Smarter IT

Beth Cobert, Steve VanRoekel, and Todd Park: “As technology changes, government must change with it to address new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. This Administration has made important strides in modernizing government so that it serves its constituents more effectively and efficiently, but we know there is much more to do. Last year, a groupContinue Reading

Speech by Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on the Great Recession

“The recession that began in the United States in December 2007 ended in June 2009. But the Great Recession is a near-worldwide phenomenon, with the consequences of which many advanced economies–among them Sweden–continue to struggle. Its depth and breadth appear to have changed the economic environment in many ways and to have left the roadContinue Reading

Google Earth expands to the Moon and Mars – Outside

Outside News from the Field: “Google couldn’t celebrate Curiosity’s second anniversary on Mars (in Earth years) with just a doodle. Instead, the California-based gods of the Internet have released two new maps to explore using the Google Earth application—on Mars and the Moon. They were assembled using images taken by various spacecraft as well as data on each body’s elevationContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Electricity Markets, Environmental Regulation, Health Prevention, New Markets Tax Credit

ELECTRICITY MARKETS: Actions Needed to Expand GSA and DOD Participation in Demand-Response Activities, GAO-14-594: Published: Jul 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2014. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION: EPA Should Improve Adherence to Guidance for Selected Elements of Regulatory Impact Analyses, GAO-14-519: Published: Jul 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 2014. HEALTH PREVENTION: Cost-effective Services in Recent Peer-Reviewed Health Care Literature, GAO-14-789R: Published: Aug 11, 2014. PubliclyContinue Reading

Guide to International Research Resources

“This guide is intended as a repository of resources specifically for research using materials produced and collected in other countries. The main resources included here are links to national libraries, national bibliographies and union catalogs. Additional regional resources have been included where appropriate. Navigation can be done through the tabs at the top or the table ofContinue Reading