Nick MRepresentatives must be held accountable to their constituents.
Our country’s policies are the result of our legislators’ decisions, which are formed in response to a multitude of influence. Even if some representatives aspire to represent their constituents, unless these reps have clear constituent polling results, they are incentivized to vote along party lines or face losing valuable party funds in the next election.
Representatives are not held accountable for how well they represent constituents on issues and bills unless the constituents participate in their political process. We plan to foster citizen participation by producing important and useful metrics. By pinpointing constituent ideology on social and fiscal axes, this information can be compared with that of the representative, determining the efficiency of their representation
These metrics create a clear picture of where you (the citizen), the bill, and the rep stand in relation to each other with respect to the fiscal and social dimensions of the political spectrum. With this clear picture in the hands of constituents, ordinary citizens are empowered. Accountability is created and corrupt, non-representative legislative action becomes politically costly. In addition accountability is upheld with respect to the legislative bill's creators and co-signers by demonstrating the kind of legislation they are creating and how it aligns with your political spectrum.
Team Members:Nick Mastronardi, Tim Booher, Don Kahn, Mark Coyne, Lia Mastronardi, Dylan Cooper, Kyle Rivers, Adam Rosszay, Leo Blondel, Juan Mena, Betty Lo, Kris Gosselin
How can we improve the U.S. House of Representatives annual ethics training of congressional staff? The team is looking at alternative to the current proprietary method. The new system would have a number of advantages: It would be open source, reducing cost; provide a more interactive experience; have better analytics; and would be designed to promote dialogue and discussion, unlike the current system.
Project Description: The team is developing a means to free data locked in pdf files so that it can be easily downloaded into an Excel file for analysis and comparison. The proposed mechanism has the potention not only to enable expanded data consideration of Community Development Authorities, the original research subject, but a whole range of bond issues on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board website. Such analysis can better educate citizens, local government officials, and buyers of municipal bonds and shine a brighter light on the financial products created and sold by Wall Street.
Project Description: Studies have shown that bankers often collude together to manipulate the the London Interbank Offered Rate(Libor). Since banks are not required to make their transaction prices public, the interbank offered rate is calculated by simply asking banks the rate they would borrow at - a system that is easily gamed. Our project goal is to develop a benchmark interest rate based on the closest available public data that is of comparable term and risk category. This will be a website where the public can view the benchmark interest rate for the current day.
Team Members: Katherine Sliz Carson, Naushard Cader, James Butler, Quan Do, Mike Dombroski, Attila Ferruchi, John Heyer
Project Description: ProfessorCert is the capstone website for the Academic Independence Project at the Edmond J. Safra Research Lab run by Szelena Gray and Sujay Tyle.
ProfessorCert (http://professorcert.co.nf/) is a website created by Nikin Tharan to help professors prevent bias in their research publications by granting certification licenses that researchers can incorporate into their home website to confirm their committment to non-biased research. Academics have two certification options: a personalized login gained through the creation of a profile and answering more indepth questions; or general one by answering highly generalized ones. They can log-in (to gain the more thorough certification) with their LinkedIn account, Facebook, or Twitter, or university email, complete their profiles, and answer a disclosure non-bias questionnaire. Upon completing the questionnaire, they receive an embed link of a certificate from the Academic Independence Project. The professors may integrate the certificate into research papers, personal profiles and other methods of expression to assure readers that they are not biased.
This paper finds that, "Libor is not a sufficient statistic for bank funding costs." The authors suggest that market participants use a range of funding cost measures when looking to set a benchmark for the cost of funds in the market. This is the precisely the goal of our project.