Urban Planning

Governor Names Prof. Moss to MTA Search Committee

Governor Names Prof. Moss to MTA Search Committee

Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed NYU Wagner Professor Mitchell Moss to serve on a new, 20-member advisory committee that will conduct a search for the next chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Moss is NYU Wagner's Henry Hart Professor of Urban Policy & Planning and leads the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management located at the school.

Appointed along with Moss were, among others, the chairman of the Association for a Better New York, Bill Rudin; former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch; Lillian Borrone, board chair of Eno Transportation Foundation;  New York State AFL-CIO president Denis Hughes; Continuum Health Partners president and CEO Stanley Brezenoff; former NYS operations director Mary Ann Crotty; and Gene Russianoff, senor attorney, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign.

The panel, formed Aug. 8, "will conduct a national and international search to find and recommend the most talented candidates for the next chairman of the MTA," Gov. Cuomo announced, adding: "I am committed to appointing a new chairman who will put straphangers first and who will continue to reform the MTA by reducing costs and waste, while improving efficiency and service."

 

Half the world is 'unbanked,' says new Financial Access Initiative paper

Half the world is 'unbanked,' says new Financial Access Initiative paper

The Financial Access Initiative (FAI), a research consortium based at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, has identified that 2.5 billion adults worldwide do not have a savings or credit account with either a traditional (regulated bank) or alternative financial institution (such as a microfinance institution). Nearly 90% of the financially un-served live in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. FAI published the findings in a November, 2009, paper, "Half the World is Unbanked" (click below to access it).

"Until now, the margin of error when considering the world's unbanked was about plus or minus a billion-unacceptable in any other field," said Jonathan Morduch, professor of economics and policy at NYU Wagner, managing director of the Financial Access Initiative, and author of Portfolios of the Poor, a new book examining the surprisingly sophisticated financial lives of the world's poor. "These findings are a real step ahead, and they show how better data can help policymakers truly target and serve poor populations with appropriate financial services."

The analysis also revealed new insights; for example, that India, a country with low per capita income and a large rural population, demonstrates much greater use of financial services than many relatively richer and more urban countries. The global data indicate that countries can improve levels of financial inclusion by creating effective policy and regulatory environments and enabling the actions of individual financial service providers. More than 800 million of those using financial services live on less than $5 per day, so it is possible to provide these services to very low-income communities-but there are still nearly 2 billion to reach.

The Financial Access Initiative (FAI) is a consortium of leading development economists focused on substantially expanding access to quality financial services for low-income individuals, offering the next generation of thinking about microfinance. FAI is housed at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and led by managing director Jonathan Morduch and directors Dean Karlan (Yale University) and Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard University). FAI focuses on basic research and measurement tools that reveal the most effective means of implementing microfinance initiatives. FAI studies the value of microfinance by identifying the demand for financial services; the impact of financial access on incomes, businesses, and broader aspects of well-being; and mechanisms that can increase impact and scale of microfinance.

 

 

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