This week, we present the final episode in our three-part interview series on climate risk. We’re going deep on the housing market. 

Our guest co-authored an important study quantifying extreme weather risk in the U.S. housing market — and identifying how banks are shifting that risk to us, the taxpayers.

Shayle Kann talks with Amine Ouazad, a professor of applied economics at the graduate business school HEC Montreal. He recently co-authored a study called Mortgage Financing in the Face of Rising Climate Risk.

The New York Times summarized the research, asking if we are facing problems similar to those that caused the housing crisis.

Topics covered on this episode:

  • The role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the mortgage market: What happens when mortgage loans get securitized to those agencies?
  • Why do inadequate FEMA mapping and declining flood insurance create additional risk for lenders?
  • How are risky mortgage loans in vulnerable areas getting sold to Fannie and Freddie — putting taxpayers on the hook for tens of billions of dollars in risk?
  • What happens after a large disaster in terms of new loans? What is the significance?
  • What might this mean for the health of the housing market as natural disasters continue to increase in frequency and magnitude? Will there be a cascading effect?
  • What parallels can we draw from the 2008 financial crisis, which resulted from the collapse of the housing market?

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Support for The Interchange comes from Schneider Electric, the leader of the digital transformation in energy management and automation. 

Support for this podcast comes from PG&E. PG&E is helping to electrify corporate fleet vehicles. Get in touch with PG&E’s EV specialists to find out how you can take your transportation fleet electric.