Volume 2, Issue 2 | November 17, 2006

November 2006


John Olson
Center for Community Development Investments

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System held a special, invitation-only conference in Washington, DC on September 6 and 7, 2006, on the secondary market for community development loans. The conference was organized largely because of the eager responses we heard from readers of our most recent issue of the Review on the subject. After publishing the Review, we reached out to lenders, investors, intermediaries, policymakers, and academics to collect as many reactions as we could. While there was a diversity of opinion on the precise programs or tools that are needed to create a more vibrant secondary market for community development loans, some interesting themes emerged: that the industry is on the cusp of a breakthrough, that the industry needs to do a better job of learning from the interesting ideas and innovations in the field, and that the industry needs new ways of coming together and collaborating with one another.

In response to this feedback, we invited a small group of community development thinkers and paractitioners to engage in a highly interactive series of discussions over the course of a day and a half, and you’ll be reading about the fruits of those discussions in these pages. My colleague David Erickson provides a comprehensive summary of the multi-faceted discussions at the conference, and the balance of this Review consists of more detailed explorations of specific themes that emerged. Each essay approaches its theme with an eye towards what the future might hold by suggesting next steps and ideas for new directions. Our goal with this Review is to capture the best ideas from the conference and lay them out as a possible road map for the industry.

The Center for Community Development Investments remains committed to creating a forum for the discussion of these ideas and a platform for their implementation. We’d be delighted to hear about other ideas to add to the discussion, but we’re especially interested in hearing from those of you who are working towards making the ideas discussed in this Review come to life. We invite you to join us in making real progress.

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Federal Reserve System. Material herein may be reprinted or abstracted as long as the Community Development Investment Review is credited.

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Table of Contents

Innovative Activity in Rural Areas: The Importance of Local and Regional Characteristics
David L. Barkley, Mark S. Henry, and Doohee Lee

Conference Keynote Address
Governor Randall S. Kroszner

Proceedings / Themes from the Conference
David J. Erickson

Essays on Conference Themes

Turning Uncertainty into Risk: Why Data Are the Key to Greater Investment
Mary Tingerthal

Growing Pains
Doug Winn

Bridging the Information Gap between Capital Markets Investors and CDFIs
Ellen Seidman

Strategies for Selling Smaller Pools of Loans
John McCarthy

Check Your Guns at the Door: How to Get Together to Establish a Market
Catherine Dolan