Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

December 2, 2016

Friday’s Government Reports Roundup

By Robert Engelke

  • The employment report showed solid gains in December despite the narrowing supply of workers in the labor market. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 178,000 from last month, while the unemployment rate decreased to 4.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • With just a few words uttered Wednesday during an interview on Fox Business, Steve Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Department of the Treasury, sent the stocks of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac soaring to heights not seen since June 2014.
  • This paper, titled Cross-Sectional Patterns of Mortgage Debt During the Housing Boom: Evidence and Implications, addresses the reallocation of mortgage debt to low-income or marginally qualified borrowers plays a central role in many explanations of the early 2000s housing boom. It shows that such a reallocation never occurred, as the distribution of mortgage debt with respect to income changed little even as the aggregate stock of debt grew rapidly.
  • This paper, titled Temporary Loan Limits As a Natural Experiment in Federal Housing Administration Insurance, addresses how The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 dramatically but temporarily increased the mortgage loan amount eligible for insurance through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The authors use the implementation and expiration of these loan limits as a source of exogenous variation in the availability of FHA insurance to measure the impact on the overall mortgage market and conventional lending.
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