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Series:Richmond Fed Economic Brief  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond 

All Mortgages Are Not Created Equal

Housing experts have studied the relative performance of different types of mortgages during the housing crisis. But foreclosure analysis often overlooks distinctions between mortgages issued to occupant owners and those issued to non-occupant owners. This Economic Brief highlights the impact of non-occupant-owner mortgages on the housing crisis.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Jan

Assessing the Risks of Mortgage REITs

Regulators have expressed concern about the growth of a category of real estate investment trusts (REITs) that today invest primarily in mortgage-backed securities (MBS). These companies, known as mortgage REITs, or mREITs, have increased both in number and in asset size since the financial crisis, benefiting from federal guarantees and other support for MBS and from favorable regulatory treatment that allows high levels of leverage. While mREIT investors face significant risks, the level of risk that mREITs present to the financial system as a whole is unclear.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Nov

Unsustainable fiscal policy : implications for monetary policy

The debt of the U.S. government is at historically high levels, but how do we know whether debt levels are worrisome? This Economic Brief argues that the current fiscal position is not sustainable. Though financial markets seem unconcerned, for the time being, about U.S. fiscal health, as evidenced by low rates on Treasury securities, lawmakers should not be complacent. Expectations are liable to change as large fiscal imbalances persist, with potentially devastating consequences for the U.S. economy and monetary policy.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Jul

The case for direct methods to address CO2 emissions and other negative environmental externalities

Existing policies to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) largely have been structured to subsidize alternative energy technologies. Yet these policies are likely not to be as useful as ones that target CO2 emissions directly, such as an emissions tax or a "cap and trade" program.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Oct

The effect of interest on reserves on monetary policy

In October 2008 the Federal Reserve began paying banks interest on the reserves they hold. This action was intended to remove the implicit, distortionary tax that reserve requirements impose on banks, as well as help the Fed maintain the fed funds rate at its target. Going forward, interest on reserves is likely to simplify monetary policy implementation, as well as allow the Fed to pursue separate monetary and credit policies.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Dec

Microenterprise and the small-dollar loan market

"Small business" is a designation that includes businesses of many different sizes with varying financial needs and access to credit. Microenterprises ? businesses with fewer than five employees ? are served primarily by the small-dollar loan market, which ranges from payday lending to microloans offered by nonprofit organizations and, to a lesser extent, loans from traditional financial institutions. This Economic Brief explores the need for and challenges facing the small-dollar loan market in the United States.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue May

Recent fiscal policy and the manipulation of aggregate economic activity

It is widely believed that public sector spending and investment can restore aggregate economic activity to efficient levels. But some policy responses are likely to be more successful than others. In particular, directly targeting frictions in capital, labor, and insurance markets arguably provides the best chances of improving welfare.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Aug

The size and structure of exports in the Fifth District economy

In the last 10 years, exports have played a growing role in the national economy. This has been especially true in the Fifth District since mid-2002.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Jan

How Risky Are Young Borrowers?

Young borrowers are conventionally considered the most prone to making financial mistakes. This has spurred efforts to limit their access to credit, particularly via credit cards. Recent research suggests, however, that young borrowers are actually among the least likely to experience a serious credit card default. One reason why people obtain credit cards early in life may be to build a strong credit history.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Dec

Deterring default: why some state laws decrease the probability of mortgage foreclosures

Many states give mortgage lenders strong legal means by which to pursue debt collection in the event of a mortgage default. In those states, probability of default is lower and the forms the default takes are often quite different from a costly conventional foreclosure.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue Sep




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