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Lusk Perspectives

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Resources for COVID-19 and Beyond

During a time of great uncertainty and change, connection and information is a more important resource than ever before. Today's problems could be amplified or completely altered in a matter of days or hours, so it is vital that organizations and thought leaders frequently share knowledge, dispel rumors, and offer insight.

To meet this need, the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate launches the resource Lusk Perspectives.

Hosted by Professor and Lusk Center Director Richard K. Green, Lusk Perspectives offers timely analysis and shares accurate data vetted by leading experts on the latest developments and observations concerning COVID-19.

Once interviews are conducted, resources and videos will be made available here and on podcast channels as soon as possible.

 

Latest Perspectives

How Credit Scores Are Built And Used

September 17, 2020
Amy Crews Cutts
Amy Crews Cutts | President, AC Cutts and Associates

Amy Crews Cutts details how credit scores are built, what factors and variables may contribute to how they are evaluated, how credit scores from FICO and others have evolved, and the limits to the formulas and data used in building the models that provide credit scoring. Richard Green asks questions about how debts differentiate in the calculations, the issues with using outdated FICO scoring models, and what can be done regarding social disparities created by flaws in credit scoring.

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Investing in the Age of COVID

September 2, 2020
Nela Richardson
Nela Richardson | Principal, Investment Strategist, Edward Jones

Nela Richardson outlines factors to consider in determining investment strategy and evaluating the economic outlook. Richardson covers how management of COVID-19 will shape the recovery, the shape of the overall recession, how past and likely future government stimuli help bridge gaps, and what a long-term growth perspective can do for resilient investing. Richard Green asks questions regarding how bonds have changed; the fate of office space and brick-and-mortar retail; whether the latest corporate commitments to diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism will follow through on their promises; what businesses are moving as a result of lockdowns; and more.

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State and Local Budgets

August 25, 2020
Carolyn Coleman
Carolyn Coleman | Executive Director, League of California Cities
Tracy Gordon
Tracy Gordon | Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
Lois Takahashi
Lois Takahashi | Director, USC Price Sacramento

Lois Takahashi moderates a discussion on how COVID-19 is impacting state and local budgets with Tracy Gordon and Carolyn Coleman. Gordon outlines the nationwide declines in revenue are dramatic and could take up to 10 years for unemployment to fully recover. Coleman’s focus on the local picture illustrates that across the board, cities of all sizes are coming up against a variety of shortfalls in revenue and a likely reduction in services. Richard Green fields questions alongside Takahashi regarding how online retail is impacting tax revenue, how inequities are increasing during the pandemic, and the opportunities that this massive fiscal and social shakeup may provide.

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Racial Justice and Economics: A Crucial Pairing

August 20, 2020
William Spriggs
William Spriggs | Professor in, Former Chair of the Department of Economics, Howard University and Chief Economist, AFL-CIO
Dana Goldman
Dana Goldman | Interim Dean, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and, Leonard D. Schaeffer Director’s Chair, USC Schaeffer Center

Introduced by Dana Goldman, William Spriggs illustrates that race and racism have long been intertwined with economics, and uniquely so in the United States. Defining of race in Plessy v. Ferguson, redlining practices, treating race as "exogenous" in economic analysis, and predatory lending all follow a through-line of systemic racism infiltrating (and weakening) the economy. Richard Green follows up with questions regarding Sprigg's open letter to economists posted publicly at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the real consequences of race as a social construct, the case for reparations in economic models, and more.

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ESG Investments and Real Estate

August 12, 2020
Bonnie M. Wongtrakool
Bonnie M. Wongtrakool | Global Head of ESG Investments, Western Asset Management Company

Bonnie M. Wongtrakool discusses the state and the future of ESG (environmental, social, governance) investments with Richard Green. Wongtrakool delivers relevant definitions of ESG, how ESG factors can determine long-term sustainability and viability of an organization or fund, and what trends are driving ESG growth. Green follows up with questions on what makes green buildings more financially resilient, red flags in organizational governance, and what it will take to truly diversity the finance industry.

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