1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036
Canadian and U.S. housing finance markets had notably contrasting experiences during the international financial crises of 2007-2009. In a recent World Economic Forum opinion survey, Canadian banks were ranked first in the world for soundness (the United States was tied for 104th). What are the important differences, and what are
Download Audio as MP3 the similarities, between the two housing finance systems? What lessons do these suggest for thinking about housing bubbles? Are there implications for improving U.S. housing finance structure, instruments, practices, risk management, or regulation? These and other questions were addressed by our expert panel.
|2:00||Panelists:||Jim Chessen, American Bankers Association|
|Bert Ely, Ely & Co.|
|John Kiff, International Monetary Fund|
|Steve Mennill, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation|
|Graydon Paulin, Bank of Canada|
|Moderator:||Alex J. Pollock, AEI|
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Jim Chessen is the chief economist for the American Bankers Association (ABA), where he oversees two departments, Economic Policy and Research. He monitors the financial performance and condition of the banking industry, studies legislative and regulatory issues as they pertain to the banking industry and the Benchmarking and Survey Research group that conducts primary research, and publishes comprehensive industry survey reports to meet members' information needs. Mr. Chessen also writes on banking issues and appears regularly in the print and broadcast media. He has also testified before Congress and federal regulatory agencies on economic and banking issues. Prior to joining the ABA in March 1988, Mr. Chessen worked as a financial economist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and was an assistant professor of economics at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Bert Ely is a financial institutions and monetary policy consultant at Ely & Co. in Alexandria, Virginia. He has specialized in deposit-insurance and banking-structure issues since 1981. In recent years, Mr. Ely has researched and written extensively on government-sponsored enterprise issues; coauthored an AEI monograph describing how to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and developed proposals for fundamentally reforming U.S. housing finance, specifically through the use of covered-bond financing for mortgages and a mortgage-product innovation, the Ratchet Mortgage, that eliminates mortgage-refinancing costs when lowering the interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage. In 1986, Mr. Ely was one of the first to publicly predict a taxpayer bailout of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. Mr. Ely is a frequent participant in AEI conferences.
John Kiff has been a senior financial sector expert at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2005. Prior to that, he worked at Bank of Canada, where he was involved in various financial-markets analytic and trading activities. Since 1999, Mr. Kiff has been heavily involved in several Bank for International Settlements working groups that focus on credit-risk-transfer markets, and he has published a number of articles and papers around these projects. At the IMF, Mr. Kiff is part of the team that produces the semiannual Global Financial Stability Report, and he has continued to publish articles and papers on risk-transfer markets. More recently, he has been focusing on mortgage markets.
Steve Mennill has worked in various housing related fields for twenty years. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he worked as a housing planner for a local government and then as a consulting urban land development planner. Mr. Mennill started with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in the mid-1990s and worked in social housing administration, rental mortgage insurance default management, and affordable housing policy and research. In the late 1990s, Mr. Mennill moved to CMHC's mortgage insurance business, where he handled rental underwriting, technology operations, business development, strategic planning, and product development for both the rental and homeownership business lines. In 2009, he became executive director for policy and research, responsible for CMHC's technical, social, economic, and financial activities.
Graydon Paulin moved to the Bank of Canada's newly created Financial Stability Department in November 2008, filling the position of research director with responsibility for the department's systemic-risk and financial-institution analysis. Previously, Mr. Paulin was deputy chief of the bank's International Economic Analysis Department. In earlier positions, he had responsibility for the first several public issues of the Financial System Review and worked as special assistant to former Bank of Canada governor John Crow. His research interests include procyclical behavior in the financial system, developing tools for macroprudential analysis, and the evolution and governance of the global financial architecture. An article that he coauthored on the performance of the Canadian banking system during the financial turmoil appeared in the May 2009 issue of Central Banking.