Monday, January 29, 2018


FOCEA meets again at Citron Bistro, Vero Beach, Florida. L to R: Eric Wollman,
John Tepper Marlin. Photo by Alice Tepper Marlin.
January 28, 2018 – On this date, Eric Wollman, the founder of FOCEA, the Former Office of the [New York City] Comptroller Employees Association, paid his annual visit to Vero Beach, Florida. This is our 3rd annual reunion.

Last year we had with us former 1st Deputy Comptroller Steve Newman ( This year it was back to the two of us.

Eric and I had lunch with Alice Tepper Marlin at Citron Bistro on the Barrier Island of Vero Beach, off A1A near the Indian River Shores Village Hall.

Eric attends the annual Uniformed Services Patch Collectors' meeting in Titusville, Florida, and then drives down to visit on his way to relatives farther south. I asked him whether FOCEA would continue to exist now that he himself is retired and was heart-broken to discover that in his own retirement Eric is losing touch with retirees.

Can anything be done?  Meanwhile, I will continue to post on informal FOCEA get-togethers, such as the one with my successor as Chief Economist, Frank Braconi, last year (

Here is a story from Eric Wollman about the retirement this month of Yvette Hibbert, whom I knew well at the Comptroller's Office:

Sunday, January 28, 2018

DOLLAR COLLECTIBLE | 1928 Series, Woodin Signature

L to R: Asst Sec James Douglas, Treasury Sec Will
Woodin, and Bur of Engraving Dir Alvin Hall.
 From The Highland Recorder, Monterey, Va.,
March 31, 1933. 
January 28, 2018 – When Treasury Secretary Will Woodin took office on March 5, 1933, the banking system of the United States was frozen.

This March 5 will be the 85th anniversary of the collapse of the banking system.

Some states were issuing scrip because so many panicked customers were taking cash out of the banks that their tills and safes were empty, and their reserves had often dwindled to below the insolvency mark.

Someone suggested to the new Treasury Secretary that he should issue Federal scrip. Reportedly he figured out  while he was playing the guitar for relaxation, that greenbacks were Federal scrip, if they weren't gold or silver certificates. There was no need to call a new issue "scrip". There just had to be a lot of greenbacks printed, fast.

Will Woodin personally supervised the printing of greenbacks to make sure that banks were not short of cash and currency. Rather than delay even a day by starting a new 1933 series, he issued a 1928 Series with his signature on it, even though the bills were printed in 1933. The 1928 Series has a red Treasury seal.

1928 Series dollar bill, signed by Woods and Woodin (as were all of the 1928 Series 
dollar bills with the red seal). From the author's coin and currency collection.

These 1928 dollar bills are the last notes to have been issued with a red Treasury seal. A circulated 1928 Series is sold for an estimated average of $75, depending on condition. An uncirculated note is sold for $200-$500 (says One with a serial number that begins with a star instead of a letter is called a Star Note and is sold for about $2,000 circulated and $15,000 or more uncirculated.
This is an example of one of the 1928 Series Star Notes. These are rare, offered for
$15,000 and up if uncirculated..
Woodin worked round the clock making sure the new currency was printed right. Then he had cameras rolling to show the trucks leaving the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for the big-city banks.

FDR declared a Bank Holiday for the four days March 6-9, 1933. The Emergency Banking Bill was passed through both Houses of Congress in four hours in a special session called for March 9. It was  immediately signed into law by FDR. The Bank Holiday was continued for four more days, until Monday, March 13. One-third of the banks opened right away. The others had to be examined for solvency. But panic disappeared. Someone was in charge. 

The next day, FDR introduced the Economy Act, which cut veterans' pensions to balance the budget and was unpopular among Democrats. This was not a Keynesian action, unlike most of FDR's other moves in 1933, but it passed both Houses of Congress with the support of many Republicans. It passed the Senate on March 20 only because it was immediately followed by a popular bill that partly ended Prohibition.

The 73rd Congress stayed in session for its first year until June 18, 1933. Three major pieces of legislation were passed in June – the Securities Act on June 5, the Glass-Steagall Banking Act on June 12, and NIRA (which established the brilliant Public Works Agency and the less successful NRA) on June 16. 

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, poses in 2017 with a sheet of
new $1 notes bearing his signature; his wife is at his side.

Friday, January 26, 2018

FINANCIAL REGULATION | One Year into Trump Era

Update 245 from Dana Chasin — 

Financial Regulation Reshaped

A year into office, President Trump has made significant progress in reshaping the financial regulatory agencies, as many of his nominees are confirmed. Their generally ambitious deregulatory plans have risks.
FSOC: Still Standing, with Stature
At Wednesday’s Senate Banking nomination hearing, senators questioned Thomas Workman, who would serve as FSOC’s independent member with insurance expertise. Workman was president and CEO of the Life Insurance Council of New York from 1999 to 2016.
Workman would join FSOC just as it reconsiders its listing of the large insurance companies critical enough within the financial system to trigger a crisis. Workman declined to answer direct questioning about what he thought about the $50 billion threshold at which FSOC declares a nonbank financial firm systemically important. He did echo the sentiment of a November Treasury report by expressing an openness to “tailoring” FSOC’s SIFI designation process by shifting regulatory analysis to focus on a firm’s activities, as opposed to its assets. 
FSOC lifted its classification of AIG as a Systemically Important Financial Institution in September, while the DOJ dropped its case appealing a decision to delist MetLife. Prudential is the only remaining insurance company considered systemically important by the federal government. Expect Workman to sail through a relatively easy nomination process.
CFPB Staff get a Memo from Mulvaney 
Last November, the Trump administration appointed Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney as interim head to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. This appointment, which is the only position the administration will get to fill at this agency, drew an immediate legal challenge from outgoing Obama-era administrators.  Mulvaney remains legal acting head of the CFPB. Trump has yet to name a permanent nominee for a five-year term.  
On Tuesday, Mulvaney released a memo to clarify his deregulatory stance and announce a review of “everything we do” at the CFPB. While he assured employees that he does not intend to shutdown the Bureau, he harshly criticized what he sees as his predecessors’ willingness to “push the envelope” by disproportionately target offending companies. Mulvaney might not be planning to end the CFPB, but he has certainly made clear his intentions to scale back the Bureau’s regulatory ambitions.
Goodfriend’s Single-Mandate Vision for Fed
Marvin Goodfriend for Fed Governor is one of the most polarizing nominations of the Trump administration yet. At Wednesday’s Senate Banking hearing, Ranking Member Brown was quick to take issue with Goodfriend’s belief that the Fed should only focus on half of its statutory mandate: stabilizing inflation. 
Mr. Goodfriend has a long history of inflation hysterics. Sen. Warren called him out on his off-the-mark prediction in 2011 that further Fed interest rate cuts would push inflation past the Fed’s two percent target, without lessening the then-nine percent unemployment rate.  
In 2012, he similarly stated that inflation would skyrocket if the unemployment rate fell below seven percent. Today, the unemployment rate is consistently south of 4.5 percent with inflation remaining stubbornly under the Fed’s two percent target. Goodfriend seems unmoved by this reality, and would likely push for more aggressive interest rate hikes should he be confirmed.  
FDIC still a Guardian vs. Risk?
Jelena McWilliams (nominated to the FDIC Board) was a longtime Republican staffer on the Senate Banking Committee. She is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank. McWilliams would replace Martin Gruenberg, a critic of the Republican Wall Street bill, S.2155.  Her confirmation would give the FDIC three Republican Board members -- its statutory maximum -- along with Mick Mulvaney (CFPB Director) and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting. The Trump administration has no intention to appoint Independent and Democratic members to the Board.
McWilliams emphasized her priority to reverse the consolidation and closure of community banks, which she argues should be exempt from the Dodd-Frank Act rule on proprietary trading. This would loosen their capital requirements and streamlining anti-money laundering reporting. While Williams earned unabashed praise from Republican members of the panel, Sen. Brown objected to her view that excessive leverage at the nation’s largest bank did not trigger the financial crisis. Her prospects for confirmation as FDIC Chairperson are strong, as Republicans are solidly supportive.
Familiar Faces at the CFTC
  • Chris Giancarlo — Giancarlo has been serving as CFTC chair since before Trump took office. As a Republican, Giancarlo has criticised FSOC (of which he is now a full-time member) of inadequately weighing the cost of regulation and SIFI designation on the institutions under its watch. This is in line with Trump’s deregulatory tendency and goes a long way towards explain the recent delisting of companies such as AIG.
  • Brian Quintenz — Quintenz was nominated by Barack Obama for this role, but the session ended before the Senate voted on his appointment. Trump briefly pulled the nomination before ultimately renominating the Republican investment manager and Hill staffer. Quintenz was confirmed Aug. 3.
  • Rostin Behnam — Benham is a former senior counselor to Debbie Stabenow and worked for the Attorney General of New Jersey. Benham joined Stabenow’s office in 2011, but has been a  supporter of DFA since its inception. Behnam assumed office last Sept. 6.
MIxed Signals at the SEC
Jay Clayton: Clayton was confirmed as SEC chair in May and he has exhibited conventional conservative ideology ever since. Notably, he has pushed to encourage IPO’s by reducing regulatory oversight of companies looking to go public. Sen. Cortez-Masto vocally opposed his nomination in committee. Nevertheless, with Clayton’s confirmation passing committee on a 15-8 vote, and the floor on a 61-37 vote, Clayton’s confirmation was never much in doubt.
Hester Peirce: Before nomination, Ms. Peirce was a senior fellow at the very conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University. In that role, Peirce wrote numerous articles, op-eds, and books arguing that the regulatory response to the financial crisis was overblown and that allowing the market to “pare the big banks down” would’ve been more appropriate. When she was first nominated, she refused to commit to requiring public corporations to disclose political contributions. She was confirmed by the Senate last month.
Robert Jackson: Mr. Jackson has an illustrious educational background with degrees from Harvard Law and Kennedy schools, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, and Oxford. Jackson is a staunch liberal regulator in line with Sen. Elizabeth Warren in his preference for oversight of large financial institutions. Mr. Jackson was confirmed along Ms. Pierce in December.
OCC -- The Foreclosure King Goes to Washington
The Senate voted to confirm Joseph Otting as comptroller of the currency on November 16. The vote was 54-43, largely on party lines. Otting was the CEO of OneWest Bank, a lender co-founded by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. During the financial crisis he was labelled the “foreclosure king” for failing to effectively oversee thousands of loans to families who would eventually lose their homes. The nomination and subsequent confirmation sparked heavy criticisms from Senate Democrats. 
Ex-Im Bank Avoids Garrett
Senate Banking rejected the Trump administration’s nomination of Scott Garrett to head the Export-Import Bank, with Republican Sens. Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Tim Scott (S.C.) crossing party lines to vote with Democrats, 13-10. Garrett’s nomination had been subject to intense criticism from business groups, primarily because of his strong opposition to the agency during his time representing New Jersey in the House. Other than the failed nomination of Garrett, there have been five other nominations to fill out: Claudia Slacik, Spencer Bachus III, Kimberly A. Reed, Judith Delzoppo Pryor, and Mark L. Greenblatt. These nominations are far from contentious with some of these nominees even drawing bipartisan support. If successful, these nominees would fill out the Ex-Im bank board for the first time in years.

Feedback (anonymous or not): 
Archive of past updates:

Monday, January 22, 2018

SENATE | Hammering Out Your Federal Budget (Postscript)

L to R: Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer
January 22, 2018 – The following is "Update 244" from Dana Chasin, who monitors economic policy and the budget cycle in Washington for you. (Postscript January 23 by CityEconomist: Commentary in the NY Times and New Yorker.)

Dreamers Survive One Deadline,  Face Another on February 8.

Closing one of the shortest government shutdowns in memory, the Senate voted 81-18 to end debate on a stopgap FY 18 funding measure expiring February 8.

Minority Leader Schumer extracted a concession from GOP Leader Mitch McConnell: a legislative agreement regarding action on a DACA bill in exchange for Schumer’s support for the spending package. Once the Senate approves it, the House is expected to pass the bill in short order with the President likely signing the CR into law tonight.

How did the deal come to pass and who holds the upper hand in the next budget round?

The Deal

In negotiating this short-term extension, Senators continue to comply with Budget Control Act caps as toplines:

$549 billion for defense spending
$516 billion for nondefense discretionary
Both of these caps are set to increase by a combined $160 billion by 2021. Defense spending caps increase to $562 billion in 2019, $576 billion in 2020, and $591 billion in 2021. Non-defense discretionary spending caps increase to $529 billion in 2019, $542 billion in 2020, and $555 billion in 2021.

The package is identical to the previous FY 18 CR extensions, except that it includes a CHIP funding deal. Where a DACA package will be negotiated on its own, the stopgap spending deal includes a six year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 1.9 million children in 25 states would have lost CHIP benefits had this arrangement not been reached before Feb. 1.

Impact of the Shutdown

Past shutdowns have cost the economy billions of dollars per day when furloughed government workers and contractors were forced to stay home and miss out on paychecks. This time around, the impact was relatively limited by a shutdown that primarily spanned the weekend. With only one work day lost, stock markets barely blinked and economic losses will be minimal.

Democrats’ Position

Democrats kept their promise to not vote for a long-term funding measure without protecting Dreamers and won six years of CHIP funding to provide vitally important children’s health coverage, giving up nothing. Sen. Schumer also secured greater leverage, forcing McConnell into a promise to address DACA relief on the floor in advance of the next funding deadline.

Sen. McConnell’s promise, on the congressional record, that he will bring an immigration bill to the floor and allow for an open amendment process, means that Schumer extracted more explicit concessions from his Republican counterpart without having to give anything up. Sen. McConnell now faces the unenviable task of having to develop an immigration solution or risk going back on his word and facing another government shutdown.

Most significantly, the deal allows Sen. Schumer to keep his caucus united while putting pressure on an already factious Republican majority. Several prominent Democrats eyeing a 2020 presidential bid, including Sens. Harris, Gillibrand, Booker, Sanders, Murphy, and Warren voted against this bill in support of the Dreamers.

Republicans’ Position

Since Trump assumed office, the GOP has repeatedly been foiled by its own internal divisions. This weekend’s shutdown made it abundantly clear that the majority party is struggling to perform the most fundamental tasks of governing, adopting a budget. Despite Republican leadership’s attempts to paint the fiasco as “Schumer’s shutdown,” polls revealed that most of the country blames the party in control of the House, the Senate, and the White House for the shuttered government.

This weekend’s split pitted moderate Republicans who had previously expressed interest in finding a resolution to the DACA debacle against against immigration hardliners. The moderates, lead by “gang of six” Sens. Flake, Graham, and Gardner, had thrown their support behind a bipartisan DACA deal only to have it infamously blow up in the Oval Office.

Other Republicans are clearly less eager for a DACA fix. Last Friday, many Republicans were quick to frame the shutdown as an example of Democrats choosing “illegals” over children when Democrats voted down the House CR that contained six years of CHIP funding but made no mention of DACA.

Trump’s Absence

President Trump had already gone to sleep by the time the shutdown occurred on Friday at midnight. Other than a Tweet calling for Republicans to “go nuclear” and change the Senate rules allowing spending bills to pass with only 50 votes, he played no real part in negotiations over the rest of the weekend. The President did meet with Sen. Schumer on Friday at the behest of Sen. McConnell, but that conversation ended up at square one, with Trump telling Schumer to work it out with McConnell. In the end, Trump had little to to do with negotiating and drafting the bill.

Why Schumer Came Out On Top

DACA protections run out on March 5, now that CHIP funding has been secured and McConnell is on the record saying that he will begin a “neutral and fair” legislative process Democrats can go into the new Feb. 8 deadline resolute in their goal to protect the Dreamers.

Shutdowns often result in a blame game as motives are questioned and accusations of bad faith abound. Democrats needn’t fear that as they have made a simple demand that Republicans have acknowledged. Mitch McConnell has made and broken promises like this in the past, including the one he made to Sen. Flake in exchange for his vote on the tax bill. If Sen. McConnell either tries to exclude Democrats from the process, pass a watered-down or poison-pill ridden bill, or renege completely Democrats will not refrain from shutting the government down again.

In The New York Times, Michelle Goldberg says that the agreement sells out the Resistance and the women’s marches. Paul Krugman says it is a betrayal of the Dreamers. Carl Hulse says that the shutdown was a bad strategy and that caving in sooner was better than later. The Editorial Board complains that the President has sent “wildly contradictory" messages.

In The New Yorker, Benjamin Wallace-Wells asks whether Schumer “caved” to the detriment of the Dreamers. John Cassidy thinks the effects of the Women’s Marches are more lasting than the shutdown.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

GIFTS OF MANUSCRIPTS | NY Public Library and LoC Policy

L to R: Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Miller
The kerfuffle over Arthur Miller's archive ended up with the papers being deposited in Austin, Texas and not New Haven, Connecticut.

This has prompted me to look up what the guidelines are for giving manuscripts to libraries.

The two greatest libraries in the United States are the NY Public Library and the Library of Congress. 

Here is what the NY Public Library – the library with by far the largest number of visitors – has to say:

Here is what the Library of Congress says:

These are two of the five greatest (largest) libraries of the world, the others being the Bodleian (Oxford), the British Library (London) and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris). This is not to put down the many smaller libraries that may be tops in their specialized areas.

For a charitable deduction from taxable U.S. income, my understanding is that gifts to foreign libraries would have to be through a charity based in the United States.


Glenn Simpson
Here are some links relating to the Glenn Simpson testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Full Transcript. From Senator Feinstein, Ranking Member of the Committee.

Full Transcript. New York Times format, interactive.

Rolling Stone explains the Simpson transcript.

FBI had contact inside the Trump campaign.

Was Russia trying to blackmail Trump?

Feud over Steele dossier intensifies.


U.S. Capitol
The following is a good opportunity for a recent college graduate seeking to gain experience in office management and economic policy research in Washington, D.C. 

The year 2018 will be interesting.

The position supports the work of an economic policy research and advocacy firm participating in the national economic policy making process.

The Administrative Assistant  will be interfacing with legislators, academics, public interest groups, and progressive organizations via engagement in economic policy legislative and political projects with a focus on fiscal and financial policy. 

Economic Policy Advocacy Firm

The position supports the work of an economic policy research and advocacy firm participating in the national economic policy making process, working with legislators, academics, public interest groups, and progressive organizations via engagement in economic policy legislative and political projects with a focus on fiscal and financial policy. 

Target Start Date: February 5, 2018
Location: Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.
Compensation: Competitive, commensurate with experience and performance, roughly $15-20/hr, plus expenses 

Schedule: Flexible; 20-40 hrs/week

Organize and schedule appointments
Coordinate and facilitate conference calls
Plan meetings and take detailed notes
Assist in distribution of a regular newsletter 
Assist in tracking timelines for projects and tracking specific to-do lists
Book travel arrangements
Occasional event planning and tech support (iPhone, printer, wireless networks)

Proven experience as an administrative assistant, or office admin assistant
Knowledge of office management systems and procedures and office equipment
Proficiency in MS Office/Google Drive, and MailChimp programs
Excellent time management skills, the ability to prioritize work, pay attention to detail, and troubleshoot problems
Excellent written and verbal communication and organizational skills
General familiarity with fiscal, financial, and economic policy issues
Bachelor’s degree
To apply, send a copy of your resume and a cover letter to:

Saturday, January 6, 2018

ART BIZ | Met Charge Is Criticized

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the world's largest cultural institution,
has been having financial difficulties. Their solution is to impose a
mandatory fee for non-residents of NY State, for the first time since 1970.
Welcome signs and verse below by JT Marlin.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Is now charging at the gate.
Prove that you're from the State...
Or twenty-five bucks is the rate.
A panel of senior art critics for The New York Times has denounced the move by the world’s largest cultural institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art ("The Met", also confusingly the nickname of the Metropolitan Opera) to start, on March 1, charging a fee for admission to out-of-staters. 

This policy reverses one established in 1970 that a voluntary donation to the Met is all that is required for admission. The new policy imposes two new entry barriers. Either produce acceptable identification to prove you are a resident of NY State, OR pay $25 to be admitted.

The Met says that the fee is needed to ensure a steadier flow of revenue, because the number of visitors paying the "suggested donation" of $25 is sharply declining.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

NET NEUT | Senate Vote?

L to R: Senators Feinstein, Schumer, Collins.
With the swearing-in of Alabama Democrat Doug Jones, the Senate Republican majority is a slender 51-49.

So it is significant that  and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) opposed the repeal of net neutrality.  

The FCC voted to repeal its own net neutrality rules last week, and the repeal will take effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This means that the big internet service providers (ISPs) can offer differ speeds and quality of feed based on payment. This offers the ISPs great potential for new revenue. Think of how much money the railroads were able to squeeze out of their clients when they started playing with the prices. The Federal Government followed the British by imposing rules on interstate "common carriers"...

Could the Congress reinstate the Federal Communications Commission's 3-2 decision to repeal net neutrality rules? 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said last month that he will force a vote on a bill that would reverse the repeal. Congress can overturn agency actions by invoking the Congressional Review Act (CRA), as it did in 2017 to eliminate consumer broadband privacy protections.

A successful CRA vote here would prevent the FCC from enforcing its repeal or issuing a similar repeal in the future. The FCC would have to maintain the rules and the related classification of ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.


This debate could turn on the big business vs. small business issue. 

The large Internet Service Providers would like to be able to provide premium services, trading higher fees for better access to the internet. Large businesses (and speculators looking for an edge) would be glad to pay for faster access to data than the general public. 

The reasonable fear among small businesses and consumers in general is that their internet access will be either 

  • greatly degraded or 
  • much more expensive or
  • (most likely) both.

Monday, January 1, 2018

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF 9/11 | Health Effects and the Zadroga Act

The Destruction of the Twin Towers Resulted in
Injuries that Took Time to Reveal Themselves.
You probably know that in contrast with prior wars, the continuing war in the Middle East is creating relatively many more injured soldiers. The medical and human costs of their injuries have been high.

The health effects of the attacks on the two World Trade Center Towers seemed more like earlier wars. Three thousand people died, and few people reported to the hospitals with visible injuries. Those who were burned or buried by the Towers, including many NYPD and NYFD rescuers, mostly were killed in seconds or minutes. 

The hospitals were all standing by after the 9/11 attacks, but they had little to do compared with expectations. Few injured people survived to take to the hospitals. 

In fact, the rescuers did suffer illnesses and injuries, but in most cases they took months to show themselves.

I am interested in this subject because in the aftermath of both the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, as Chief Economist for the New York City Comptroller, I was asked to assess the economic damage caused by the attacks. I maintained then, and still believe, that there would be a long tail to the indirect economic effects of the attacks. This would be consistent with the impact of recent wars in the Middle East on the American military.

The Rousmaniere Study

My friend Peter F. Rousmaniere (, a risk-management professional who writes frequently on occupational risks, studied the problems of the surviving World Trade Center workers and rescuers. He tallied the problems they faced in seeking compensation for illnesses they contracted that they believe are attributable to the conditions under which they worked at the WTC site.

Rousmaniere's study was published in 2007 as four award-winning articles, under the title "Up in Smoke", in Risk & Insurance Magazine, a leading business publication. The articles identified three independent failures in handling compensation:

1. Safety Enforcement at Ground Zero Was Poor. Enforcement of safety was well below recognized standards, even after making allowance for the scale of the challenge. It was long after September 2001 before officials formalized even a basic safety plan.

2. No One Monitored Workers' Health. Even though it was well known that rescue workers were vulnerable to slowly emerging diseases, their health and exposure was not monitored – by employers, insurers or the City of New York. This failure greatly increased the uncertainty today about the health status of tens of thousands of workers. It is axiomatic that workers exposed to high levels of toxic materials should be monitored regularly for their health status. The only workers who were monitored carefully were New York City firefighters. Tens of thousands of workers were allowed into ground zero in September 2001 and the weeks following without any check on their existing health status, which makes it difficult to do a before-and-after analysis. There was an inadequate attempt to check up on them soon afterwards. Confusion today about the actual health status and prognosis of these workers can be directly linked to the absence of medical surveillance from the start.

3. The Workers Compensation System Collapsed. The State system was inadequate as a provider of medical and disability support, which inflamed demands for support from the Federal Government and through judicial awards. The workers compensation system of New York was created in part out of reaction to the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Since then, the system has restricted access to persons who acquire diseases at work, such as lung conditions and post-traumatic stress disorders. Substantial numbers of World Trade Center workers have symptoms of these diseases. Workers compensation law is expressly designed to frustrate claims arising from disasters except from those whose full-time work is emergency response. Not until 2006 was the law amended to give these workers fairer access to benefits.

Rousmaniere's Proposals

Rousmaniere drew several lessons from his study of the handling of worker compensation for World Trade Center workers, and made three proposals:

1. Define Who Is in Charge of Disaster Sites. In advance of emergencies, a plan should identify organizations and leaders who have the resources, knowledge and training to carry out the response. New York City in 2001 prided itself on its readiness for emergencies. But its expensive emergency center was in the World Trade Center itself and was destroyed. It missed basic steps. The Federal Government responded slowly and inadequately. If a professional New York City failed, what hope do other cities have of responding on their own?

2. Install a Federal Medical Monitoring System. The system should take in all workers responding to emergencies.

3. Create a Federal Program to Compensate Disaster Workers.  Legal barriers to benefits from the state workers compensation systems exist in most states.

Rousmaniere concluded that in the absence of these actions, the price in death and disability among workers responding to a pandemic in the future may be high. Workers might otherwise not respond in future with the dedication that they showed after 9/11.

The Zadroga Act

Senator Bob Menendez and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney initially co-sponsored the bill that became the The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The bill failed to pass in 2006, but a modified version (after Rousmaniere's articles were published) passed both houses in 2010 and was signed by President Barack Obama at the beginning of 2011.

The Zadroga Act provides both health monitoring and financial aid to first responders, volunteers, and survivors of the September 11 attacks. It is named after James Zadroga, a New York Police Department officer whose death was linked to exposures from the World Trade Center disaster.

The law funds and establishes a health program to provide medical treatment for responders and survivors who experienced or may experience health complications related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

A reauthorization bill, sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, passed in 2015, with coverage extended to 2090. In 2016 the first compensation was paid under the Zadroga Act for World Trade Center emergency workers.

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