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Regulating to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis

What ever caused the sub-prime mortgage crisis to become a full-blown credit freeze, it's clear that at its core were bad mortgage loans made to borrowers who didn't understand the long-term implications of the loan by lenders acting in their own self-interest. Meanwhile, credit card balances and delinquencies, caused in part by confusing terms and ineffective disclosures, are skyrocketing. And, without easy and automatic ways to save, the personal savings rate is mired at or below 1%. A new approach to the way we write the rules for buying homes, getting credit cards and managing our finances is needed, one based on real-world human behavior, not just economic theory. Regulations governing these transactions can play an extremely constructive role if they are better attuned to both consumers' and producers' behavior, incentives and self-interest. On October 17, the Asset Building Program of the New America Foundation will be publishing a seminal paper on this timely topic by Professors Michael Barr of the University of Michigan Law School, Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University, and Eldar Shafir of Princeton University. Using the tools of behavioral economics, Professors Barr, Mullainathan and Shafir-three of the nation's leaders in this field -- propose that regulators should pay attention to both the "rules of the game" -- what a provider must do or say, and the "scoring" -- the reward or penalty arising from obeying or ignoring the rules. Based on this novel framework, the authors propose ten innovative ideas for regulating mortgages, credit cards and bank accounts for saving.
Length: 01:28:28


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