About Us

Purpose


COFFI promotes coherent and effective public policy decisions concerning federal lending and insurance activities. We:

  • Promote integrated approaches to opportunities and problems that cross the boundaries of the various lending and insurance programs.

  • Design structural reforms for individual agencies before crises strike, in the quiet periods when a sound consensus can be developed. If crises are not averted, at least solutions will be ready to hand when the peril becomes visible.

  • Encourage lending and insurance agencies to seize technological and market opportunities to provide greater public benefit for every dollar of cost.

Guiding Principles


COFFI is anchored by several core principles:


Rigorous avoidance of party affiliation. This is more than just a veil to protect charitable tax status; this policy area both allows and requires bi-partisan cooperation. Both parties want effective and cost-efficient federal financial institutions and the cooperation of all of the members of Congress willing to dive into this relatively technical area will be needed to move forward, regardless of their party affiliation.

Cooperation with other researchers. We encourage other quality researchers to focus on this field and cooperate, where possible, with those already in it. There are too few policy analysts in this neglected area for us to fight over glory.

Awareness of the revolution in financial services. Advances in financial theory and information systems have transformed private-sector financial institutions, increasingly squeezing out mispricing and inefficiencies. Many federal financial institutions have not adjusted to the new world, despite the transportability of most of the concepts to a government context.

Multi-disciplinary approach. Optimal answers require an understanding of financial theory, financial institution practice, economics, public policy, law, and regulation. An over-emphasis on any one viewpoint could negate the benefits of otherwise excellent analysis.

Focus on practical answers. Theoretical analysis is the cornerstone of sound policy. But, COFFI vigorously attempts to mesh theory with practice by continuous communication with those who would implement the policy and with the gatekeepers who will determine whether policy would become law or administrative directive.

Organization


COFFI is incorporated in Washington, D.C. as a non-profit corporation. We have tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.