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Egypt Removes Police Boss Who Helped Quell Islamist Protests
Michael Wahid Hanna March 5, 2015

Egypt has replaced the interior minister who worked to quell Islamists protests after the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi. The move comes a week before a conference with the goal of boosting the Egyptian economy is scheduled to be held. TCF senior fellow Michael Hanna commented on the decision, calling it an attempt by the Egyptian government to exercise "damage control."

The cabinet changes are “an exercise in damage control,” said Michael Hanna, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a New York-based research center.

Under Ibrahim, “the indiscriminate use of police force and arbitrary arrests created unnecessary controversy and headaches for the presidency,” Hanna said by phone. The overhaul “shows the government is willing to take steps to burnish its image before the conference, but we shouldn’t assume this is indicative of a broader course correction.”

Read more on this story in Bloomberg Business.

Daniel Alpert on Why the U.S. and Global Economy Face Long-Term Deflation
Daniel Alpert March 5, 2015

TCF fellow and Managing Partner at Westwood Capital Daniel Alpert speaks with Cris Sheridan of FinancialSense about his predictions for the future of the U.S. and global economies.

Read the article here.

A Tale of Two Prisons
Clio Chang March 5, 2015

The problem of inmates receiving quality health services while incarcerated has been in the public eye for some time now, particularly because of prisons such as Rikers that have demanded reform from legislators. TCF policy associate Clio Chang brings another, less known issue into question, however, with her article that takes a closer look at Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville, Texas. The difference here is that Willacy is a federally contracted private prison that mostly houses noncitizens who have tried to reenter the US after being deported. The health services at Willacy fare much, much worse for a number of reasons, despite the recent riot by inmates there.

While public prisons like Rikers can become dysfunctional, the profit margins of private prisons can be greatly enhanced by having lawmakers send over more inmates. Thus it's no surprise that the three biggest private prison companies -- CCA, GEO, and MTC -- have spent more than $45 million on lobbying and campaign contributions since 2000.

Clio's article is featured in RealClearPolicy.

The “Recovery” in U.S. Housing Prices
Daniel Alpert March 5, 2015

TCF fellow Daniel Alpert suggests we take a closer look at the supply constraints and mortgage interest rates in the post-financial crisis economy. He in fact suggests that the crisis may have never ended and we ought to take caution in assuming the housing market is back at stable levels.

Alpert has created a series of charts and statistics to visualize his concerns regarding exaggerated rent growth and its subsequent impact on inflation levels.

The full economic research report can be viewed here.

Fool for the City: How We’re Over-hyping America’s Urban Comeback
Jacob Anbinder March 5, 2015

Following a recent report published by the think tank City Observatory, recent headlines have heralded the comeback of cities, claiming that Americans are moving back into urban centers. TCF policy associate Jacob Anbinder advises taking a closer look at the data, however, as it is more complicated than these articles make it seem.

The fact remains that in terms of where people work, much of the country is significantly more suburban than even 15 years ago. And in many places, the recession did nothing to change this trend.

Anbinder's article can be found in The Week.

More Security Fears Surround Clinton’s ‘Homebrew’ Email Server
Barton Gellman March 4, 2015

As reports have emerged that Hillary Clinton relied on a "homebrew" computer server to send and receive messages during her time at the State Department, many have called Clinton's actions inexcusable. TCF fellow Barton Gellman provided commentary on the news:

Others were less convinced that Clinton's decision afforded her more security and that it was motivated by anything more than an attempt to dodge transparency. Barton Gellman, a reporter for The Washington Post who has access to the Snowden files, tweeted Wednesday that "it is not possible for a high-value target to secure a home-managed email server."

See coverage of this story in The National Journal.

Regulators Are Making the Banking Business Boring
Daniel Alpert March 4, 2015

TCF fellow Dan Alpert weighs in on the direction he believes big banks such as RBS, Barclays, Citibank, and JPMorgan are taking in the economic sphere. He says we may have seen the end of big banks.

Alpert says,"So many of these big shareholders today are in fact money managers themselves." Which means there is less of a need for regulators."

Watch Alpert's BloombergBusiness appearance here.

Marco Rubio and Mike Lee Want You to Have Kids—Unless You’re Poor
Jeff Madrick, Clio Chang March 4, 2015

According to an article from the New Republic, Republican senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio have come out with a new tax plan that appears to penalize poor families and their children. The plan has hints of social engineering because it essentially prevents low-income families who need benefits the most from receiving such credits. The article cites TCF fellow Jeff Madrick and policy associate Clio Chang's newest work on cash allowances.

The Reformocon tax proposal is intentionally designed to exclude the poorest 20 percent of families from these new child benefits, as plan architect Robert Stein previously explained. According to Stein, the plan is intentionally "not designed to encourage fertility in the poor over and above what we already do," meaning that its disproportionate boost to the wealthy is a piece of social engineering, not an unintended facet of the policy.

Read the New Republic article.

Read Madrick and Chang's blog post on cash allowances.

Clinton’s E-Mail Server Was Never Safe
Barton Gellman March 4, 2015

Over the past few days, experts have continued to weigh-in on the Hillary Clinton email controversy. Many agree with TCF fellow Barton Gellman that a secure home-managed email server would have been impossible to achieve.

The same goes for the actual e-mail messages that passed through the server apparently located in the Clinton home. I agree with Barton Gellman, The Washington Post's point man on the Snowden revelations, who tweeted today:

Read the newest opinion piece on the issue in Bloomberg View.

SCOTUSblog: Afternoon Round-up: Today’s Argument in King v. Burwell
Mark Zuckerman March 4, 2015

Yesterday TCF's President Mark Zuckerman wrote a piece on the King v. Burwell case and his first-hand experiences during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act as staff director of one of the three House committees that wrote, managed, and passed the law. The post was included in SCOTUSblog's afternoon report of the day's coverage of the case.

See the full round-up, including Zuckerman's article, on SCOTUSblog here.

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