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An Inclusive, Progressive National Savings And Financial Services Policy, Michael S. Barr Jan 2007

An Inclusive, Progressive National Savings And Financial Services Policy, Michael S. Barr

Articles

How many of us walk by the signs for "Checks Cashed Here," "Money Orders for Sale," and "Payday Loans: Get Cash Quick" without thinking about the implications of those signs for the daily lives of lower-income households? Most of us can take for granted getting our paychecks directly deposited into our bank accounts, writing a check, or storing our money in an account. We often struggle to save for longer-term goals, such as our children's education, or retirement, but most of us, most of the time, do not worry whether our savings or insurance will be enough to get ...


Credit Where It Counts: Maintaining A Strong Community Reinvestment Act, Michael S. Barr Jan 2006

Credit Where It Counts: Maintaining A Strong Community Reinvestment Act, Michael S. Barr

Articles

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has helped to revitalize low- and moderate-income communities and provided expanded opportunities for low- and moderate-income households. Recent regulatory steps aimed at alleviating burdens on banks and thrifts are unwarranted, and may diminish small business lending as well as community development investments and services. This policy brief explains the rationale for CRA, demonstrates its effectiveness, and argues that the recent regulatory proposals should be withdrawn or significantly modified.


Detroit Area Study On Financial Services: What? Why? How?, Michael S. Barr Jan 2005

Detroit Area Study On Financial Services: What? Why? How?, Michael S. Barr

Articles

The following article is based on a talk give by Assistant Professor of Law Michael S. Barr to the University of Texas Law School-Harvard Law School Joint Conference on Commercial Law Realities in Austin, Texas, in April. Barr was selected by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Survey Research Center to be the faculty investigator for the Detroit Area Study, which the University has conducted for more than 50 years. Barr is using the study to explore the financial services needs of low- and moderate-income households, building on his groundbreaking analysis in Banking the Poor. Barr raised ...


Credit Where It Counts: The Community Reinvestment Act And Its Critics, Michael S. Barr Jan 2005

Credit Where It Counts: The Community Reinvestment Act And Its Critics, Michael S. Barr

Articles

Despite the depth and breadth of U.S. credit markets, low- and moderate-income communities and minority borrowers have not historically enjoyed full access to credit. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted in 1977 to help overcome barriers to credit that these groups faced. Scholars have long leveled numerous critiques against CRA as unnecessary, ineffectual, costly, and lawless. Many have argued that CRA should be eliminated. By contrast, I contend that market failures and discrimination justify governmental intervention and that CRA is a reasonable policy response to these problems. Using recent empirical evidence, I demonstrate that over the last decade ...


Banking The Poor, Michael S. Barr Jan 2004

Banking The Poor, Michael S. Barr

Articles

Low-income households often lack access to banking accounts and face high costs for transacting basic financial services through check cashers and other alternative financial service providers. These families find it more difficult to save and plan financially for the future. Living paycheck to paycheck leaves them vulnerable to medical or job emergencies that may endanger their financial stability, and lack of longer-term savings undermines their ability to improve skills, purchase a home, or send their children to college. Additionally, high cost financial services and inadequate access to bank accounts may undermine widely shared societal goals of reducing poverty, moving families ...


Access To Financial Services In The 21st Century: Five Opportunities For The Bush Administration And The 107th Congress (Symposium On Poverty And The Law)., Michael S. Barr Jan 2002

Access To Financial Services In The 21st Century: Five Opportunities For The Bush Administration And The 107th Congress (Symposium On Poverty And The Law)., Michael S. Barr

Articles

Noticeably absent from debate over President Bush's agenda is any discussion of a central question for equality of opportunity in the 21st century. Access to financial services is the "passport" to our modem economy, as former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers oft said, but despite the enormous progress that has been made over the last decade, too many families in the United States still are left out of the financial services mainstream. There are five key opportunities that the Bush Administration, working with Congress and the private sector, can seize in order to continue to democratize access to financial ...