Agenda: 2013 Policy Summit on Housing, Human Capital, and Inequality

Thursday, September 19

10:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.



11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.


Keynote speaker:

Sandra Pianalto, President & Chief executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

A member of the Federal Open Market Committee, Ms. Pianalto has unique insights on housing finance policy and regulations.


1:00 – 2:30 P.M.


The New Housing Finance System: Are We There Yet?

In this opening plenary session, noted researchers and policy experts will take up the current heated debate over the future of housing finance in this country. In light of recent regulatory changes, how will the new financial environment influence housing finance going forward? What are the points of consensus and contention regarding the roles of the GSEs, the FHA, and private market participants? The plenary participants will discuss the path forward for housing finance and, not least, the implications for low-income households’ access to affordable housing.


Robert Avery, Project Director of the National Mortgage Database, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)


Shekar Narasimhan, Managing Partner, Beekman Advisors, Inc.

David S. Scharfstein, Edmund Cogswell Converse Professor of Finance and Banking, Harvard Business School

Susan Wachter, Richard B. Worley Professor of Financial Management & Professor of Real Estate and Finance, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania


2:40 – 4:10 P.M.



Affordable Housing, Mortgage Underwriting, and Default: The Case of the FHA

In the past few years, the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) market share has increased substantially, as have its default and foreclosure rates. Recently, the White House announced that the FHA may have to make a capital call to the US Department of the Treasury for the first time in its history, prompting debate over the future of the organization. In this session, a panel of experts will discuss the FHA’s financial situation, its role in providing affordable housing, and explore potential policy responses.


Emre Ergungor, Senior Research Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland


Edward J. Pinto, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

How the FHA Hurts Working-Class Families [ summary & implications ]

David Reiss, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

How Low is Too Low? The Federal Housing Administration and the Low Downpayment Loan [ summary & implications ]

Joseph Tracy, Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor to the President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Interpreting the Recent Developments in Housing Markets [ summary & implications ]



Small Business Trends and Policies after the Great Recession

Research shared in this session will give participants a detailed view of what characterizes small businesses and small business employment, clarifying long-held misconceptions on the topic and possible implications in policymaking. The session will also include an analysis of the effectiveness of a large-scale entrepreneurship training program and what it means for policy.


Lockwood Reynolds, Assistant Professor, Kent State University


Manuel Adelino, Assistant Professor of Finance, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

House Prices, Collateral and Self-Employment [ summary & implications ]

Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere, Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Black-White Gap in Self-Employment. Does Intra-Race Heterogeneity Exist? [ summary & implications ]

Benjamin Pugsley, Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
What Do Small Businesses Do?



Getting the Right Balance: Generating Income and Achieving Savings in a Post-Recession World

Household balance sheets are all about income and assets (what you earn and what you own) versus debt and spending (what you owe and what you consume). In addition to income, savings play an integral role in family financial stability. This session will look at the current state of household balance sheets following the recession and delve into the components of the balance sheet. It will also attempt to answer two questions: What programs help those with less-robust balance sheets generate income? And what tools are available to low- and moderate-income individuals to facilitate saving?


David Rothstein, Director of Resource Development & Public Affairs, Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland, and Project Director, Ohio CASH Coalition


Tamara Lindsay, Director of Programs, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE).

Joanna Smith-Ramani, Director of Scale Strategies, Doorways 2 Dreams (D2D) Fund

Lauren Williams, Program Manager, Affordable Homeownership & Entrepreneurship, Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED)



In a Pinch: Access to Affordable Short-Term Credit

Access to mainstream sources of consumer credit is a challenge for many low- and moderate-income households. To fill gaps in monthly expenses and income, some turn to small dollar credit products such as payday loans. While these products meet consumer needs, it is often at a high cost to borrowers. Panelists in this session will discuss why consumers use these products despite the costs, the availability of small dollar credit products and the impact of regulation on them, and some innovative and more affordable approaches to fulfilling the short-term credit needs of consumers.


Rob Levy, Director of Research, Center for Financial Services Innovation


Sarah Davies, Senior Vice President, Analytics, Product Management and Research, VantageScore Solutions, LLC

Ryan Gilbert, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BillFloat

Michael Griffin, Senior Vice President, KeyBank



QM & QRM: What it Means for Bankers

A key contributor to the financial crisis was the proliferation of mortgages made with lax underwriting standards which were then securitized. The Dodd-Frank Act imposes new legal requirements on both mortgage originators and mortgage securitizers. These requirements include an exemption for securitizing Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRMs) and a safe harbor for originating Qualified Mortgages (QMs). Many originators and securitizers are expected to originate and securitize only mortgages that meet the QM and QRM standards, thus having a profound effect on residential mortgage lending. This interactive session will examine the new QRM and QM standards, as well as the impact on borrowers and implications for fair lending. It will also address the difference between the safe harbor for prime QRMs and the rebuttable presumption of compliance for higher-priced mortgage loans (HPML), and the implications for the Community Reinvestment Act and TILA’s civil liability provisions.


Greg Bell, Consumer Compliance Banking Supervisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Cincinnati Branch)

Ken Benton, Senior Consumer Regulations Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia


4:15 – 5:45 P.M.



Consumer and Household Finance

This session focuses on consumer and household finance, with particular attention paid to consumer behaviors and financial implications. The speakers will specifically address household borrowing behavior through the housing boom and bust, the substitution between mortgage and non-mortgage debt, the consumption response to tax refunds, and the benefits and costs of checking accounts as they are actually used by low- and moderate-income households.


Dan Hartley, Research Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland


Meta Brown, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Impact of Housing Markets on Consumer Debt: Credit Report Evidence from 1999 to 2012 [ summary & implications ]

Hoonsuk Park, PhD Candidate, The Ohio State University

Financial Constraints and Consumers' Response to Expected Cash Flows: Direct Evidence from Filing Tax Returns [ summary & implications ]

Katherine Samolyk, Senior Economist, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Checking Account Activity, Account Costs, and Account Closure among Low- and Moderate-Income Households [ summary & implications ]



Improving the Mortgage Origination Process

How fair is the mortgage origination process? This session will present one experiment and two program evaluations related to this process. The experiment investigates discrimination by mortgage originators; the evaluations address effectiveness of specific interventions in the mortgage origination process, as well as regulations governing it. The session aims to advance the discussion of ways to make the mortgage origination process fairer and the resulting mortgages sustainable. (A complementary practitioner session is offered on Friday: Breakout Session C3, “At a Crossroads: The Changing Mortgage Industry.”)


Lei Ding, Community Development Economic Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia


Andrew Hanson, Associate Professor of Economics, Marquette University

Experimental Tests for Discrimination by Mortgage Loan Originators [ summary & implications ]

Lan Shi, Senior Research Associate, The Urban Institute

The Effect of Mortgage Broker Licensing On Loan Origination Standards and Defaults under the Originate-to-Distribute Model: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Market [ summary & implications ]

Kenneth Temkin, Principal, Temkin Associates

Pre-Purchase Counseling Impacts on Mortgage Performance: Empirical Analysis of NeighborWorks America’s Experience [ summary & implications ]



Putting a Lid on It: Addressing Student Loan Debt

What’s behind increasing student loan debt and how does it affect the near- and long-term financial well-being of borrowers? This session will address whether the investment in human capital is worth it for all students and what educational institutions and policymakers have done to address increasing costs. Finally, the panelists explore whether there are any alternative approaches to financing higher education. (A complementary research session is offered on Friday: Breakout Session C1, “Student Loans.”)


Wenhua Di, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas


Bryan Ashton, Senior Program Coordinator, Student Wellness Center, The Ohio State University

Justin Draeger, President, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Scott Karol, Director of Program Evaluation and Technology , Clarifi



Nontraditional Tools in the Neighborhood Stabilization Toolbox

The housing crisis has spurred a number of responses from the federal government, such as programs encouraging modifications and refinancing of distressed mortgages. Additionally, some communities are finding value in nontraditional means of stabilizing their neighborhoods, including shared-equity homeownership, community land trusts, private investors buying and rehabbing homes, and attracting more people to areas that suffered population declines. This session features researchers and policy experts on community land trusts, shared equity models, private sector investments in neighborhoods, and policies aimed at attracting immigrant and refugee populations to once-declining areas. How do these models work and in what conditions are they designed to succeed? What role can regulations play in furthering such efforts?

Moderator & Speaker:

Lou Tisler, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland


Shelly Callahan, Executive Director, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, Utica, NY

Sean Dobson, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Amherst Holdings, LLC

Rob Pitingolo, Research Associate, The Urban Institute



Dodd-Frank: How Banks are Coping with the Cost of Compliance

This session features industry representatives’ perspectives (from a community bank, regional bank, and large banking organization) on how they are managing the costs of complying with consumer regulations resulting from the Dodd-Frank Act. How have these new regulations impacted the respective organizations’ product and service offerings? What regulations are giving them the most challenges?


Greg Bell, Consumer Compliance Banking Supervisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Cincinnati Branch)


Michael Little, Chief Compliance Officer, PNC Financial Services Group

Judy Steiner, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, FirstMerit Corporation

Trent Troyer, President & Chief Executive Officer, First Federal Community Bank


5:45 – 7:00 P.M.


Friday, September 20

8:00 – 9:00 A.M.


Shining a Light on Regulatory Enforcement

Join us for an interactive discussion over breakfast with a panel of federal and state regulators who will shed light on the gray area of policy known as regulatory enforcement. What factors are considered when agencies plan their enforcement strategies? How do agencies balance the potential unintended consequences that can result from blunt enforcement policies? The panelists’ brief presentations will be followed by a facilitated discussion, providing the audience with the opportunity to participate.


Paul Kaboth, Vice President and Community Development Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland


Nadine Ballard, Associate Professor, Sinclair Community College

Kristen Donoghue, Assistant Deputy Director for Policy and Strategy, Office of Enforcement, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Jon Steiger, Regional Director, Federal Trade Commission


9:00 – 10:30 A.M.


Consumer Finances and Protection in the New Regulatory Environment

When does consumer protection work best? Some argue that consumers need as much protection from themselves as from profit-seeking companies. In this plenary session, national policy experts will discuss consumer protection in the new regulatory environment with a particular focus on the values and limits of regulations and mandatory information disclosures. When does the cost of product oversight outweigh the benefits? And how may the new rules affect the finances of low-income consumers?


Mark Sniderman, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland


Michael Barr, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School

Vanessa Perry, Chair and Associate Professor of Marketing, George Washington University

Jonathan Zinman, Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and Professor, Dartmouth College


10:40 A.M.– 12:10 P.M.



Student Loans

According to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student debt was the only type of household debt that continued to rise through the Great Recession. By the end of 2012, almost a third of student loans in the repayment period were delinquent. Research presented in this session explains why, in spite of growing tuition fees and debt, there is no evidence in favor of a student loan bubble. This session also presents work on borrowers’ behavior with respect to their student loan debt when faced with other types of debt, as well as an analysis of regulations and policies to reduce the risks associated with educational investments. (This research session is a complement to Practitioner Session B3, “Putting a Lid on It: Addressing Student Loan Debt.”)


Vyacheslav Mikhed, Industry Specialist, Payment Cards Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia


Daniel Kreisman, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan
Student Loans: Debt Crisis or Repayment Crisis

Lance Lochner, Professor and Director, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, Western University (Canada)

Credit Constraints in Education

Michael Simkovic, Associate Professor, Seton Hall University School of Law

Risk-Based Student Loans [ summary & implications ]



Mortgage Defaults and Labor Markets

The papers in this session will report on research that examines the interaction between mortgage and housing markets and labor markets. They will also examine the relationship between unemployment, unemployment insurance, and mortgage default at both the micro and macro levels.


Timothy Dunne, Research Economist and Policy Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta


Kyle Herkenhoff, PhD Candidate, Department of Economics, University of Californi, Los Angeles
Foreclosure Delay and U.S. Unemployment [ summary & implications ]

Brian Melzer, Assistant Professor of Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Unemployment Insurance and Consumer Credit [ summary & implications ]

Chao Yue Tian, Research Associate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Differential Impacts of Structural and Cyclical Unemployment on Mortgage Default and Prepayment [ summary & implications ]



At a Crossroads: The Changing Mortgage Industry

In the wake of the Dodd-Frank Act, the mortgage regulatory environment is changing dramatically. Join us as we explore how the current environment is affecting mortgage lending and how upcoming regulatory changes will impact mortgage credit in the future. Panelists will discuss the key mortgage regulations and what the implications are for borrowers, lenders, and communities as the market adjusts. (This practitioner session is a complement to Research Session B2, “Improving the Mortgage Origination Process.”)


Ernie Hogan, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group


Ken Benton, Senior Consumer Regulations Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Diane Minunni Callan, Vice President, Regulatory Information Services, TD Bank



Small Business Financing Trends

Recent discussions about small business have focused on the challenges they face obtaining credit in today’s marketplace. In this session, experts will discuss the frictions slowing the flow of this credit, as well as the variety of ways and recent trends in how small businesses are operating and obtaining financing.


Anita Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Small Business Trends, LLC


Ty Barksdale, Vice President of Business Banking, Sutton Bank

Linda O’Connell, Small Business Banking Manager, Barlow Research Associates, Inc.

Ann Marie Wiersch, Policy Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland


12:15 – 1:30 P.M.


Keynote speaker:

Eldar Shafir, William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Dr. Shafir has long focused on how people make judgments and decisions in times of uncertainty, and on the application of behavioral research to policy.

Research and policy

Finding a connection

In advance of each Policy Summit we issue a call for papers, aimed at eliciting the latest and most relevant research on topics we’re covering at that year’s conference. Read summaries of and policy implications for the research papers presented at the 2013 Policy Summit.

Small businesses: How are they faring post-recession?

What are the top challenges facing small business after the Great Recession? Two presenters from the Policy Summit describe demands of the current workplace, including that workers be adaptable, collaborative, agile, and entrepreneurial, in an Economic Development podcast. View the transcript or play the audio MP3.

May 12-14, 2014

Mark your calendars

Those are the dates of the 2014 Reinventing Older Communities conference, "Bridging Growth and Opportunity." The biennial conference, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in partnership with the Cleveland Fed and others, will be held next May at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Check out highlights and a summary from the 2012 event, "Building Resilient Cities."

Sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia