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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 29, 2008

UI Public Policy Center hosts conference on subprime lending crisis Oct. 10-11

Some of the leading experts in the fields of law, finance and public policy will gather at the University of Iowa Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10 and 11, to identify the causes of the subprime housing crisis and suggest solutions to one of the most pressing problems faced by government officials and the financial industry today.

The conference, titled "The Subprime Housing Crisis: Interdisciplinary Policy Perspectives," is being presented by the UI Public Policy Center at the hotelVetro, 201 S. Linn St. in downtown Iowa City.

Jerry Anthony, associate professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the UI, says the goal of the conference is to increase awareness about policy responses among citizens, academics and policy makers within Iowa and beyond, and will focus on the urgent need for well-formulated solutions to address the housing foreclosure crisis.

At the first session at 9 a.m. Oct. 10, UI President Sally Mason will introduce former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa, currently a visiting professor at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Leach served 30 years in Congress and chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Later in the day, speakers will address the scope and scale of the foreclosure crisis and the factors that contributed to it. On the second day of the conference, experts will discuss responses on the federal, state and local levels, as well as by nonprofit agencies. The final session will be an analysis of lessons learned from past foreclosure meltdowns.

The sessions will provide deeper and comprehensive understanding of the causes and consequences of the crisis from multiple perspectives, increasing awareness about best practices, and critiquing past policy interventions, and new measures that have been recently adopted or are being seriously considered for implementation.

Speakers will include:

--Jim Carr, chief operating officer, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an association of 600 local development organizations across the nation, dedicated to improving the flow of capital to communities and promoting economic mobility.

--Kathleen E. Keest, senior policy counsel, Center for Responsible Lending, which has been crafting legislative responses to this crisis.

--Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General.

--Anthony Pennington-Cross, professor in the College of Business Administration at Marquette University, whose research has focused on subprime lending in the housing market.

--Katherine Porter, associate professor in the UI College of Law, who has done groundbreaking research in bankruptcy law.

--Kim Rueben, senior research associate, Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute & Brookings Institution.

--Jay Sa-Aadu, professor in the UI Tippie College of Business.

--James Shilling, a professor in the Department of Finance in DePaul University's College of Commerce. He is known his for his research examining trends in housing prices and macro-economic factors that affect housing prices.

--David Wheelock, assistant vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

For a complete list of speakers visit

Anthony says the conference will appeal to local, state and national policy makers dealing with the negative consequences of this crisis, as well as researchers from diverse fields such as law, business and urban planning. The program will also hold interest for leaders from the banking, insurance and construction industries, and for representatives of nonprofit agencies involved in helping families affected by this crisis. The general public is also welcome to register. The symposium has been approved for eight hours of Iowa Continuing Legal Education credit.

The conference is part of the Public Policy Center's Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy, which honors David Forkenbrock, founding director of the Public Policy Center and a nationally recognized transportation researcher. The series provides a forum for dialogue about policy an applied, academic and interdisciplinary perspective. Last month, the center held a well-attended symposium on transportation economics.

Sponsors include the UI Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the UI College of Law, Citi, US Bank and the NCRC.

The conference fee is $150. For more information or to register visit see or call 319-335-6800.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Peter Damiano, Public Policy Center, 319-335-6800, peter; Jerry Anthony, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, 319-335-0622,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,