CREF Policy Update Feb. 10, 2022

Commercial and multifamily developments and activities from MBA relevant to your business and our industry.

Three of President Biden’s nominees to serve on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors faced questioning during their confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee last week.

We can’t wait to see you all in San Diego, where over 2,200 commercial real estate professionals have registered to attend MBA’s Commercial/Multifamily Finance Convention & Expo. To register, click here. Watch MBA SVP of Commercial/Multifamily Mike Flood’s preview of CREF22 here. Join the 150+ MBA member companies that have signed MBA’s Home for All Pledge, representing a commitment to promoting affordable rental housing; minority homeownership; and company diversity, equity, and inclusion. One senior executive (e.g., CEO, COO, President) is encouraged to sign this online form on behalf of your organization.

1. Fed Board Nominees Face Questions On Independence, Inflation 

Lawmakers on Thursday questioned three nominees to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on issues around Fed independence, climate change, and inflation during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. Sarah Bloom Raskin, nominated last month by President Joe Biden to serve as the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, drew the most attention, particularly from Republicans who oppose her nomination. Those Republicans, including Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, the committee’s ranking member, worried Ms. Raskin would use her influence at the Fed to regulate capital allocation within the financial system. Also appearing before the committee were nominees Lisa D. Cook, a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University, and Philip N. Jefferson, vice president for academic affairs, dean of faculty and the Paul B. Freeland professor of economics at Davidson College, to serve on the Fed board. A summary of the hearing can be found here.

  • Why it matters: While much of Thursday’s hearing revolved around Ms. Raskin’s past calls for the Fed to address climate change, all three nominees told lawmakers that the Fed must make it a priority to tackle currently high inflation. 
  • What’s next: Republican opposition to the nominees could impede their confirmation in the closely divided Senate. Moderate Democrats on the Senate banking panel – who hold the key to confirmation – signaled their support for the nominees, including Ms. Raskin.

For more information, please contact Ethan Saxon at (202) 557-2913 or Tallman Johnson at (202) 557-2866. 


EU Markets Regulator Starts ESG Ratings Oversight Process

On Thursday, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) took first steps to regulate the ESG ratings market by issuing a “call for evidence” on market characteristics for ESG ratings providers in the European Union (EU). A “call for evidence” is similar to a request for input (RFI) commonly issued by U.S. regulators to gather stakeholder perspectives and feedback on an issue. According to the ESMA, “the call for evidence seeks to develop a picture of the size, structure, resourcing, revenues and product offerings of the different rating providers operating in the EU.”

  • Why it matters: European markets’ regulatory oversight of ESG ratings providers may in the future influence ESG ratings and oversight in the U.S.
  • What’s next: MBA staff will continue to track EU oversight of ESG ratings markets for impacts on commercial and multifamily lending.

For more information, please contact Adrian Ballinger at (202) 557-2774.

3. State Trackers

  • State eviction moratorium and legislative activity tracker available here.

For more information, please contact William Kooper at (202) 557-2737 or Grant Carlson at (202) 557-2765.

6. Upcoming MBA Education Webinars on Critical Industry Issues

MBA Education continues to deliver timely programming that covers the spectrum of challenges, obstacles and solutions pertaining to our industry. Below, please see a list of upcoming webinars – which are complimentary to MBA members:

  • Successful Recruiting in a Changing Marketplace – February 10
  • CONVERGENCE: The 2022 Legislative Outlook for Affordable Housing – February 17

MBA members can register for any of the above events and view recent webinar recordings.

For more information, please contact David Upbin at (202) 557-2931.