Alex J. Pollock

Senior Fellow

Mises Institute

Alex J. Pollock

Senior Fellow

Mises Institute

Alex J. Pollock is a Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute, providing thought and policy leadership on financial issues and the study of financial systems.  His work includes cycles of booms and busts, financial crises with their political responses, housing finance, government-sponsored enterprises, risk and uncertainty, central banking, banking and financial regulation, corporate governance, retirement finance, student loans, and the politics of finance.

He previously served as the Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Financial Research in the U.S. Treasury Department 2019-2021.  He was a Distinguished Senior Fellow with the R Street Institute 2015-2019 and 2021, and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, 2004-2015. Among the many aspects of his AEI work, he developed the One Page Mortgage Form to give borrowers in clear form the key information they need in order to know what they are committing themselves to. He was President and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago from 1991 to 2004.  There he invented the Mortgage Partnership Finance program, which successfully created front-end mortgage credit risk sharing beginning in 1997. His decades of banking experience include being a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 1991.

Pollock was a director of the CME Group 2004-2019 and of Ascendium Education Group 1989-2019.  He is a director and past-chairman of the Great Books Foundation and a past president of the International Union for Housing Finance.

He is the author of the forthcoming Surprised Again! – The COVID Crisis and the New Market Bubble (2022), Finance and Philosophy—Why We’re Always Surprised (2018), and Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity (2011), as well as numerous articles and Congressional testimony.

Pollock is a graduate of Williams College, the University of Chicago, and Princeton University.

Contributions

What’s Next for Fannie, Freddie, and Housing Finance Reform?

December 20, 2019

On December 10, 2019, the Regulatory Transparency Project hosted an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The title of the event was “What’s Next for Fannie, Freddie, and Housing Finance Reform?”

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) oversees the administration of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. What’s next for the agency? What are the priorities that the agency should be pursuing?

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Deep Dive Episode 84 – What’s Next for Fannie, Freddie, and Housing Finance Reform?

December 19, 2019

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) oversees the administration of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. What’s next for the agency? What are the priorities that the agency should be pursuing? This episode features remarks from FHFA Director Mark Calabria and a discussion of the issues with reform by our panelists.

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Key Points in the Treasury’s Fannie/Freddie Paper

Alex J. Pollock

September 11, 2019

The important parts of the Treasury’s new paper on Fannie and Freddie reform are not the legislative recommendations, since legislation is not going to happen. They are the administrative steps which can actually be taken now, with political will.

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Deep Dive Episode 58 – LIBOR – Will a $200 Trillion Global Benchmark Disappear – or Not?

June 13, 2019

LIBOR is a hugely important interest rate benchmark, used globally and embedded in over $200 trillion of financial contracts. Experts discuss the challenges and future of this index.

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Fed ‘Independence’ is a Slippery Slope

Alex J. Pollock

April 5, 2019

In the light of the political reality of Federal Reserve history, a completely independent Fed looks impossible. In the light of the unknowable future, it looks undesirable.

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Deep Dive Episode 36 – What Should the FHFA’s 2019 Agenda Be?

January 8, 2019

Ed DeMarco (Housing Policy Council) and Alex J. Pollock (R Street Institute) discuss the key issues and projects for the Federal Housing Finance Agency going forward and what it can do to lead reform of Fannie and Freddie — and reform of American housing finance in general.

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When Is a Bureaucracy So Independent That It’s Unconstitutional?

Alex J. Pollock

July 24, 2018

In a conceptually important opinion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that the governance structure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is unconstitutional.

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