Institute News

Published October 20, 2017

The View From Asia

The Institute’s fourth Asia Summit, held in Singapore in September, brought together some 500 regional and global leaders and 170 speakers. (New this year: a full-day Women Leaders’ Summit.)

The summit program provided fresh insight in how to manage the challenges facing Asia. A special focus was to assay how the region has changed since the 1997 financial crisis, and how economic, social and political trends are likely to shape Asia’s path in the next 10 years.

Heavy Hitters in Housing Finance

The Institute’s efforts to help policymakers frame a sustainable housing finance system is gaining new traction. In September, Staci Warden, head of the Institute’s Center for Financial Markets, announced the appointment of Eric Kaplan as director of the Housing Finance Program. Kaplan has spent nearly a quarter century in the residential mortgage industry and spearheaded “RMBS 3.0,” the principal industry-led task force on reforming mortgage-backed securitization, which operates within the Structured Finance Industry Group.

In addition to Kaplan, the Center’s bipartisan team of senior fellows adds to the Institute’s expertise: Theodore Tozer, until recently president of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae); Michael Stegman, senior policy advisor for housing at the National Economic Council from 2015-16; and Phillip Swagel, assistant secretary for economic policy at the Department of Treasury from 2006-9. Institute founder Michael Milken and mortgage finance industry pioneer Lewis S. Ranieri will co-chair a new Housing Advisory Council to work with the team.

“We are bringing a powerful combination of industry, government and policy experience to provide leadership in the vital effort to restore a vibrant housing market,” said Warden in announcing the appointments.

A New Center for Regional Economics

The Institute is known for its work in regional economics — research into how local economies can best foster employment and growth. Annual indexes, including Best-Performing Cities (rankings of more than 300 metros in the United States) and for the past three years, Best-Performing Cities China, are widely used by policymakers, analysts and journalists. In recognition of the success of our work in this area, Institute president Richard Ditizio recently announced the creation of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics. The new center will be home to our regional economics research team as well as the staff of our California Center. Kevin Klowden, the former executive director of the California Center, leads the regional economics initiative.