Press Advisory

Moving On

The Economic and Policy Implications of the Housing Bubble

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, December 8, 2006, Sen. Sarbanes (D-MD) will join the Center for American Progress for the release of a new report that addresses the rapidly deflating housing bubble. The panel and the report, “The End of the Great American Housing Boom” will discuss the economic factors surrounding the depreciating housing market and the challenges policymakers have to overcome in the coming months.

Also, the panelists will discuss if preventing a similar boom is desirable and how that could be accomplished. Particular attention will be given to what affordability measures are needed. The honorable Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) will provide opening remarks, followed by presentations from four experts.

Keynote Address:
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)

Featured Panelists:
Dean Baker, Co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Kimberly Wards Warden, Vice President of Federal Affairs, Center for Responsible Lending
Christian Weller, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Center for American Progress
Mark M. Zandi, Chief Economist and Cofounder, Moody’s

Moderated by:
Derek Douglas, Associate Director for Economic Policy, Center for American Progress

Opening Remarks by:
Sarah Rosen Wartell, Executive Vice President for Management, Center for American Progress

Friday, December 08, 2006
Program: 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Admission is free.
Lunch will be served at 11:30am

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

United States Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD) was born in Salisbury, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. After graduation from Wicomico High School in Salisbury, Sarbanes received an academic and athletic scholarship to Princeton University. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship that took him to Oxford, England. Sarbanes then returned to the United States and attended Harvard Law School. After graduating in 1960, he clerked for Federal Judge Morris A. Soper before going into private practice with two Baltimore City law firms.

In 1970 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. In November 1976, Sarbanes was first elected to the United States Senate. He was re-elected in 1982, 1988, 1994, and 2000 and is now Maryland’s longest serving U.S. Senator.

Over the years as a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Sarbanes has been an active participant in every major effort dealing with housing to come before the Senate for over 20 years and has consistently worked to ensure that every American is able to obtain adequate and affordable housing. These efforts have included measures to increase opportunities for homeownership and to support a vibrant housing market. He has been closely involved in the development of legislation to address the shortage of affordable rental housing and programs to provide housing for people with special needs, including the elderly, the disabled, and the homeless.

Whether it was the HOME program, preserving affordable housing legislation, increasing affordable rental housing efforts, or leading the charge to protect homeowners from predatory lending practices, Sen. Sarbanes has always been our champion. But it has been his steadfast support and advocacy for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) that has made him a champion to housing, community development and redevelopment organizations all across the country. His widely held belief that CRA remains a critical tool in ensuring that capital, credit and services are provided to lower-income Americans is a testament to his widely held beliefs of providing opportunity and fairness to all Americans.

Dr. Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and as an assistant professor at Bucknell University. His blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

He has written numerous books and articles, including The United States Since 1980 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2007); The Conservative Nanny State (Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2006); Social Security: The Phony Crisis (with Mark Weisbrot) (University of Chicago Press, 1999); “Asset Returns and Economic Growth,” (with Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman), Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (2005); “Financing Drug Research: What Are the Issues,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2004; “Medicare Choice Plus: The Solution to the Long-Term Deficit Problem,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2004; The Benefits of Full Employment (with Jared Bernstein) (Economic Policy Institute, 2004); “Professional Protectionists: The Gains From Free Trade in Highly Paid Professional Services,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2003; “The Run-Up in Home Prices: Is It Real or Is It Another Bubble,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2002.

His book Getting Prices Right: The Battle Over the Consumer Price Index (M.E. Sharpe, 1997) was a winner of a Choice Book Award as one of the outstanding academic books of the year. He also was also the author of the weekly online commentary on economic reporting, The Economic Reporting Review (ERR), from 1996-2006. He has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, and the OECD’s Trade Union Advisory Council. His columns have appeared in many major media outlets including The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and The London Financial Times.

Kimberley Warden serves as a Vice President for Federal Affairs at the Center for Responsible Lending. At CRL, she is responsible for developing federal legislative strategies to combat abusive lending practices, including predatory mortgage loans, payday loans, and overdraft loans. Prior to joining CRL, Kimberley was a Senior Associate in the Commercial Litigation and Financial Services Practices groups at Saul Ewing, a D.C. law firm. In this capacity, she advised banks, insurance companies, and mortgage companies on regulatory compliance issues and commercial disputes. Before joining Saul Ewing, Kimberley was Counsel to Senator Bill Nelson (Florida). During her tenure on the Hill, Kimberley advised the Senator on financial services, housing issues, and consumer affairs matters. Kimberley received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. After law school, Kimberley clerked for the Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Kimberley has also served as a senior staffer to three presidential candidates.

Dr. Christian Weller is a Senior Economist at the Center for American Progress. His expertise is in the area of retirement income security, macro economics, and international finance. Prior to joining the Center, he was on the research staff at the Economic Policy Institute, where he remains a research associate. Dr. Weller has also worked at the Center for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn in Germany, under the Department of Public Policy of the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C., and in banking in Germany, Belgium, and Poland. Dr. Weller is a respected academic with close to 100 publications in academic and popular publications. His academic publications have appeared in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Development Studies, the Cambridge Journal of Economics, the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of Aging and Social Policy, and the Journal of Economic Issues, among others. His popular writings have been published in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. In 2006, he was awarded the Outstanding Scholar-Practitioner Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association. His work is frequently cited in the press and he is often a guest on national TV and radio programs. Dr. Weller holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Dr. Mark Zandi is Chief Economist and co-founder of Moody’s, Inc., where he directs the company’s research and consulting activities. Moody’s is an independent subsidiary of the Moody’s Corporation and provides economic research and consulting services to businesses, governments, and other institutions. Mark’s research interests include macroeconomic, financial, and regional economics. Recent areas of research include studying the determinants of mortgage foreclosure and personal bankruptcy, an analysis of the economic impact of various tax and government spending policies, and an assessment of the appropriate policy response to bubbles in asset markets. In addition, Mark conducts regular briefings on the economy. He is frequently quoted in national and global news outlets. Zandi received his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, where he did his research with Nobel Laureate Lawrence Klein and Gerard Adams, and he received his B.S. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Derek Douglas is the Associate Director for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress. At the Center, Derek also serves as Director of the Economic Mobility Program, which focuses on issues that bear directly on the economic security and social mobility of low- and middle-income families—such as debt, higher education, and housing. Prior to joining the Center, Derek was Counsel in the Strategic Counseling Practice Group at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he advised clients on matters with a close nexus to politics, legislation, or regulation. In this capacity, Derek worked with members of Congress, administration officials, and their respective staffs in advising clients on matters involving congressional hearings and investigations, federal and state legislative developments, and international and federal regulatory enforcement issues. Before joining O’Melveny, Derek was an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), where he specialized in the area of education. Derek also developed and directed legislative and community outreach efforts in support of his litigation. Derek joined LDF by way of a Skadden Fellowship, which is a public interest fellowship given each year to 25 law school graduates throughout the country. Derek graduated from the University of Michigan with Highest Honors in Economics and from the Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale, Derek clerked for the Honorable Timothy K. Lewis on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Derek also worked in the Economic Studies Program at The Brookings Institution as a Research Assistant to Dr. Charles Schultze.

Sarah Rosen Wartell is the Executive Vice President for Management and the General Counsel of the Center for American Progress. One of the original architects of American Progress’ business plan, she has been responsible for building the institution, overseeing its operations, and strategic planning from its founding. Sarah served in the White House in the Clinton Administration, after spending the first term at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, she advised the President on banking, government insurance and financial markets, housing and community development, consumer protection, pensions, bankruptcy, e-commerce, and a host of other economic policy issues. She led large interagency policymaking efforts, represented the Administration in legislative negotiations with Congress, and guided the creation of President Clinton’s New Market’s Initiative, to spur investment in underserved areas, and his Financial Privacy and Consumer Protection Plan. Prior to serving at the White House, Sarah was a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Federal Housing Administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has served as a consultant to the Millennial Housing Commission and the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation. She also practiced law with the Washington, D.C. firm of Arnold & Porter and taught law and technology policy as an Adjunct Professor and Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law Center. She is a graduate of the Yale Law School and Princeton University.