Friday, October 3, 2014

Newly Minted Think Tanker Bernanke Can't Get a ReFi

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is a scholar at the Brookings Institution, can't refinance his mortgage.  The culprit?  The fact that he recently started working at a think tank.

Bernanke left the Fed and starting working at Brookings on February 3, 2014.  And that job change makes him a steeper credit risk.  Here is more from The New York Times:
An employee of a think tank owns a house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington. He wants to refinance his mortgage, but the bank won’t give him a loan.
It is perhaps not the most shocking story in the world, but it becomes so when you learn that the think tank employee is Ben S. Bernanke, who was until earlier this year the chairman of the Federal Reserve, charged with setting the course of interest rate policy for the United States economy.
The problem probably boils down to this: Anybody who knows how the world works may know that Ben Bernanke has vast earning potential, and that he is as safe a credit risk as one could imagine. But he just changed jobs a few months ago. And in the thoroughly automated world of mortgage finance, having recently changed jobs makes you a steeper credit risk.

Mr. Bernanke is a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Brookings.

In more Bernanke news, a federal judge reportedly is not sympathetic with the fact that Bernanke is a busy think tanker.  A judge is forcing him to testify next week at a high-profile trial about the 2008 government bailout of big banks and other financial institutions.