Alex J. Pollock is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies and writes about housing finance; government-sponsored enterprises, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks; retirement finance; and banking and central banks. He also works on corporate governance and accounting standards issues.
Pollock has had a 35-year career in banking and was president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago for more than 12 years immediately before joining AEI. A prolific writer, he has written numerous articles on financial systems and is the author of the book “Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity” (AEI Press, 2011). He has also created a one-page mortgage form to help borrowers understand their mortgage obligations.
The lead director of CME Group, Pollock is also a director of the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and the chairman of the board of the Great Books Foundation. He is a past president of the International Union for Housing Finance.
He has an M.P.A. in international relations from Princeton University, an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from Williams College.
The list of the 25 biggest S&Ls in America in 1983, just three decades ago, contains many names which were famous in housing finance circles in those days. How many do you think still exist? Make your guess before you read the answer.
There is nothing in the least surprising about the failure and bailout of Banco Espírito Santo in Portugal. Anyone who has seen a few financial crises knows that one of their typical occurrences is for central banks and governments to offer assurances that things are all right, when in fact a disaster is approaching.
Howard Davies says that “overseeing future risks requires greater exercise of judgment”. True enough. But the real problem is not “overseeing” the risks of the future, it is seeing them – or more precisely, imagining them.
Resident Scholar Paul Kupiec, Resident Fellow Alex Pollock, and Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies Peter Wallison speak on a panel for an American Enterprise Institute conference call about the four year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act.
The notorious Dodd-Frank Act set up the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), a committee of regulators, and tasked it with identifying and preventing the ill-defined threat of systemic risk. Join our keynote speakers and expert panelists as they address the fundamental problems created by these political constructs.
In the first world war, the US was “an enthusiastic provider of arms and a willing supplier of credit to the Allies”.Yes, it was. But the Allies then spent the 1920s trying to convince the US to forgive the debt. When it wasn’t forgiven, the Allies simply defaulted in the 1930s.
Viewing financial crises over several centuries, the great economic historian Charles Kindleberger concluded that they occur on average about once a decade. Similarly, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker wittily observed that "about every 10 years, we have the biggest crisis in 50 years."