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Mel WattThis just in from the good folks at the Center for Responsible Lending:

NC’s Rep. Mel Watt receives early and bipartisan support to head FHFA
Agency oversees financial enterprises with $6.7 trillion in assets

By Charlene Crowell

President Obama recently nominated Melvin (Mel) Watt, a long-time North Carolina Congressman, to direct the operations of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). While major news media reported on the development, few mentioned exactly what the new job would entail or the significance of an African-American potentially leading a key financial office.   Read More

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The crisis on Wall Street is forcing everyone to rethink their assumptions about banking, lending, and our economy.  Have you noticed how some on the right have attempted to pin the blame for these troubles onto the Community Reinvestment Act?  First it was Rush Limbaugh, then it was Fox News.

It is simply not true, says Peter Skillern, executive director of the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina, in this editorial submitted for the North Carolina Editorial Forum.  AIG has struggled because of bad bets on credit default swaps.  They were not even subject to CRA regulation.  As a matter of fact, neither were the great majority of transactions at Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns.  The culprits were negative equity, excessive housing supply, loose lending rules, and a lack of financial regulation.  That’s what our North Carolina policy leaders have known for some time.

Although North Carolina is better off than other places, there is still a lot of need for affordable and safe housing.  North Carolina’s affordable housing professionals are gathering in Durham on Thursday and Friday this week for the North Carolina Housing Coalition’s annual conference.  What is the near prospect for projects funded with tax credits?  What can developers of affordable housing do to utilize green building techniques? How can we revitalize our mobile home parks?  These are the kinds of questions that will be answered at the Durham Marriott.  Stay tuned!