Wharton PPI publishes Issue Briefs tackling concerns that are varied but share one common thread: they are central to the economic health of the nation and the American people. These are nonpartisan, knowledge-driven documents written by Wharton and Penn faculty in their specific areas of expertise.
PublicationAfter Debt: A Path Forward for Puerto Rico(2016-04-01) Skeel, David A; Skeel, David AThis Issue Brief summarizes events surrounding the current debt crisis in Puerto Rico and presents a two-step plan for restructuring Puerto Rico’s debt and encouraging more effective governance. This plan draws extensively on the previous experiences of debt crises in municipalities on the U.S. mainland. Step one entails the creation of a financial control board (FCB) for Puerto Rico, monitored by the U.S. federal government but involving significant Puerto Rican representation. Step two would be for Congress either to craft a restructuring framework applicable to all of America’s territories, or to extend the existing bankruptcy laws in Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code (with modifications) to Puerto Rico and its municipalities. PublicationFive Years after Dodd-Frank: Unintended Consequences and Room for Improvement(2015-12-01) Skeel, David A; Skeel, David AThis brief offers a 5-year retrospective on Dodd-Frank, pointing out aspects of the legislation that would benefit from correction or amendment. Dodd-Frank has yielded several key surprises—in particular, the problematic extent to which the Federal Reserve has become the primary regulator of the financial industry. The author offers several recommendations including: clarification of the rules by which strategically important financial institutions (SIFIs) are identified; overhauling the incentives offered to banks; instituting bankruptcy reforms that would discourage government bailouts; and easing regulatory burdens on smaller banks that are disproportionately burdened by the SIFI designation process. PublicationThe Education of Detroit’s Pension and Bond Creditors(2014-01-01) Skeel, David A; Skeel, David ADetroit filing for bankruptcy had significant implications for people beyond the residents of the city. There were consequences for pension beneficiaries and bondholders that call into question the laws that protect pension and bond creditors during municipality financial distress. The future of municipal governance actually would be brighter if pensions and government obligation bonds can be restructured, at least a little, in bankruptcy.