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Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier

“As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to make our healthcare system more transparent, affordable, and accountable, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has prepared a public data set, the Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File (Physician and Other Supplier PUF), with information on services andContinue Reading

Major Decisions: Graduates’ Earnings Growth and Debt Repayment

Brad Hershbein • Visiting Fellow, The Hamilton Project; Benjamin H. Harris • Policy Director, The Hamilton Project; Melissa S. Kearney • Director, The Hamilton Project. “Student debt is becoming the norm for young adults in America. Aggregate student loan debt has more than tripled over the past decade, as both the number of borrowers and the sizeContinue Reading

Transitioning to Alternative Structures for Housing Finance

“More than six years after the federal government took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, policymakers are weighing a comprehensive overhaul of the mortgage finance system that could shrink or eventually close the two entities and create a system with more private capital. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were originally chartered as government-sponsored enterprisesContinue Reading

State and Local Government Spending Grows Faster Than Revenue

“Between 2007 and 2012, total expenditures for state and local governments increased by 18.2 percent, from $2.7 trillion to $3.2 trillion, while total revenue declined 1.1 percent over the same five-year period, from $3.1 trillion to $3.0 trillion, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2012 Census of Governments released today. Two major contributorsContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Infrastructure, Hanford Cleanup, Higher Education, NRC, Tax Filing Season

Defense Infrastructure: Risk Assessment Needed to Identify If Foreign Encroachment Threatens Test and Training Ranges, GAO-15-149: Published: Dec 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2014. Hanford Cleanup: Condition of Tanks May Further Limit DOE’s Ability to Respond to Leaks and Intrusions, GAO-15-40: Published: Nov 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2014. Higher Education: State Funding Trends andContinue Reading

Freer and Sackler Galleries to Release Complete Digitized Collection Jan. 1, 2015

News release: “The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art, will release their entire collections online Jan. 1, 2015, providing unprecedented access to one of the world’s most important holdings of Asian and American art. The vast majority of the 40,000 artworks have never before been seenContinue Reading

Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea

Via PLOS ONE – Marcus Eriksen, Laurent C. M. Lebreton, Henry S. Carson, Martin Thiel, Charles J. Moore, Jose C. Borerro, Francois Galgani, Peter G. Ryan, Julia Reisser. Published: December 10, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111913 “Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. HereContinue Reading

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions Releases Annual Mortgage Fraud Report

“LexisNexis® Risk Solutions announced the findings of its annual analysis of mortgage fraud in the U.S., revealing that despite improving economic conditions, mortgage fraud is still a national problem. In fact, mortgage application fraud and misrepresentation has grown for the past three years. Seventy-four percent of loans reported in 2013 involved some kind of fraudContinue Reading

Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis

CRS – Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis. N. Eric Weiss, Specialist in Financial Economics. December 11, 2014. “Data breaches, such as those at Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, and JPMorgan Chase, affecting financial records of tens of millions of households seem to occur regularly. Companies typically respond by trying to increase their cybersecurity by hiring consultants and purchasing newContinue Reading

GPO Releases Official Digital and Print Version of Senate CIA Report

“The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) makes available the official and authentic digital and print versions of the Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, together with a forward by Chairman Feinstein and Additional and Minority Views (Senate Report 113-288). This document comprises the declassified Executive SummaryContinue Reading

Huge defense bill includes expansion and protection of national parks

CNN: “Tucked inside the defense authorization bill that the Senate passed Friday was an unrelated public lands package that’s set to bring the biggest expansion to the National Park Service in decades. Despite some conservative opposition—a chorus that skewered the legislation as a pork-barrel land grab—the measure also establishes thousands of acres of new wilderness areas.Continue Reading

Asset Allocation and Asset Pricing with Opaque and Illiquid Assets

“Buss, Adrian and Uppal , Raman and Vilkov, Grigory, Where Experience Matters: Asset Allocation and Asset Pricing with Opaque and Illiquid Assets (December 15, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2538381 “Alternative assets, such as private equity, hedge funds, and real assets, are illiquid and opaque, thus posing a challenge to traditional models of asset allocation.Continue Reading