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Lawsuit Against New Orleans Hospital Settles Shortly After Trial Begins

  • By
  • Sheri Fink,
  • New America Foundation
March 24, 2011 |

Tenet Healthcare has settled the class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of people trapped in Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The amount was not immediately announced.

The agreement came days after jury selection began and averts a trial that was expected to bring to light new details about Tenet's dealings with Memorial during the hurricane and its aftermath.

The Quake, the Economy, and the Markets

March 22, 2011
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-- This is a guest post by Jay Pelosky, Principal, J2Z Advisory, LLC --  Japan’s massive earthquake, follow on tsunami and subsequent nuclear power plant upheaval have reinforced uncertainty regarding the strength of global economic activity and the appropriate financial assets prices to reflect that activity. The Arab Spring and EU debt crisis meant such uncertainty was already in the air in the weeks preceding the March 11th earthquake.

The Main Cause of China’s High Savings: Income Suppression for High Investment

March 21, 2011

As was suggested in an earlier post, China has an unusual low level of consumption and unusual high level of investment and savings.  The high level of savings is not, as is often assumed, attributable only to an increase in household savings, but to a rise in savings in the corporate and government sectors.  From 2000 to 2008, 80% of the increase in China’s gross national savings took place in the government and corporate sectors, not among households.  (The savings rate data for this post is based on the

Winning the Prosperity

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • New America Foundation
March 15, 2011

In the Fall of 2008 as financial markets were tumbling around the world, legendary investor Warren Buffet equated the bursting of the housing and credit bubble to an economic Pearl Harbor, one that could plunge the economy into a painful and prolonged downturn reminiscent of the 1930s.  Thanks in part to the lessons that were learned from the Great Depression, American and European policymakers won the immediate battle of preventing the economy from sinking into another Depression.  But they have not yet won the war to regain prosperity.  Not only do the U.S.

A ‘Jobs First’ Growth Strategy

  • By
  • Leo Hindery,
  • New America Foundation
March 1, 2011

The opening theme of the 2011 State of the Union address, and the theme that the President has carried forward since then, was his insistence that the nation has at long last emerged from economic crisis.  He said: “Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back.  Corporate profits are up.  The economy is growing again.  And after two years of job losses, we’ve added private-sector jobs for 12 straight months -- more than 1 million in all.”

Failing to Fill the Holes in State Budgets: Why the Recovery Act Spending on Infrastructure Fell Short

  • By
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
February 17, 2011

…We are remaking the American landscape with the largest new investment in our nation's infrastructure since Eisenhower built an Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. Because of this investment, nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, repairing our faulty dams and levees, bringing critical broadband connections to businesses and homes in nearly every community in America, upgrading mass transit, building high-speed rail lines that will improve travel and commerce throughout our nation.

Social Innovation and Community Solutions for a New War on Poverty

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 12:15pm

The nation’s safety net system is in a double bind: demand is spiking as budgets are shrinking. More than ever it's time to take bold new approaches with potential to do more with less. On Tuesday, February 22, the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation hosted this event to discuss an innovative antipoverty approach that demonstrates how families can work together to create economic mobility at a lower cost than many conventional programs.  

Automatic Mediation Works to Avoid Costly and Unnecessary Foreclosures

February 1, 2011
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Despite the return of the stock market, the housing market remains a mess and is filled with uncertainty. Scores of families across the country are on the cusp of losing their homes and being displaced from their communities. In many cases, foreclosure is a lose-lose-lose proposition, negatively impacting families, lenders, communities (and taxpayers) alike.

But many foreclosures are avoidable. Given the current scale of the problem, where one in four mortgages are underwater and over a million of foreclosures are predicted for this year, we should be stepping up the pace with implementing policies that can put a stop to the wave of mass foreclosures sweeping the country.

One idea that has shown promise is a reform to the foreclosure process which gets all the interested parties in a room to talk and explore renegotiation. Half the states already have a process in place to facilitate mediation but the process can be made more effective if it is inserted into the process automatically as a default. This approach is working where it has been tried and the next challenge is to get the federal government behind the event.

Alon Cohen and some of his colleagues at the Center for American Progress have been talking up this idea. They note that even though none of the parties are under any obligation to settle in mediation, in practice they settle more than half the time. In previous papers they have explored how foreclosure mediation works and its impacts at the state and local level when it is automatically part of the process.

Alon has just released a new paper describing what the federal government can do to support the spread of this innovative and successful practice. It is an important paper and is worth a read by anyone looking for solutions to the current mortgage mess.

His central proposal is that all mortgages backed by the U.S. government should be forced to go through mediation prior to foreclosure. This means Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA will require their loan servicers to implement automatic mediation prior to foreclosure. In this way automatic foreclosure mediation will be added to the list of “loss mitigation” activities already required of them. Further, Congress should make clear that judges in federal bankruptcy cases have the power to require parties to mediate mortgage issues, just as they currently order alternative dispute resolution (such as negotiation or mediation) for other issues. Together, these two provisions would impact the large majority of mortgages under threat of foreclosure and create new means to stabilize the housing market.

The Pillars of Economic Transformation

  • By James K. Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin
February 1, 2011

In his 2011 State of the Union, President Obama outlined a sweeping program for economic transformation, resting on innovation, education, infrastructure, deficit reduction, and governmental reform. The New America Foundation asks whether these are the right “pillars” of a national agenda.  

Youth Unemployment

  • By
  • Shayne Henry,
  • New America Foundation
December 8, 2010

During the last three years, youth employment has taken a large hit, absorbing a significant portion of job losses.  One in four unemployed persons is under the age of 25 and nearly one in five young workers is unemployed.1  The rate of joblessness among individuals aged 16-24 is at its highest level on record.2

The Recession

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