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Christopher is the founder and Managing Director of the award-winning research and investment group, Rismark International, having established the business in 2003 on the basis of a landmark report he produced on affordable housing for the Australian Prime Minister's Home Ownership Task Force. Rismark has pioneered the development of the world's first mass market, private sector shared equity finance program in which the lender participates in both the capital gains and wears the losses associated with home ownership without charging any interest. Since that time the initiative has won numerous industry awards and served as the basis for government-sponsored shared equity programs in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In February 2009, Christopher was invited by the Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations to present innovative policy solutions to America's housing market woes based on Rismark's experience at the private Transforming America's Housing Policy summit for Obama Administration officials in New York. In 2007 Christopher was selected by The Bulletin magazine as one of Australia's "10 Smartest CEOs" and by BRW Magazine as one of "Australia's Top 10 Innovators". He previously worked with Goldman Sachs' Investment Banking Division in Europe and Australasia. Christopher was formerly a member of the Special Projects team within the Reserve Bank of Australia's Domestic Markets Division. In 2008, the Australian Government embraced a radical policy proposal developed by Christopher and Professor Joshua Gans of Melbourne University to provide liquidity to the Australian mortgage-backed securitisation market to mitigate the adverse effects of the 2007-2008 credit crisis. This idea was also endorsed by the Government's 2020 Summit. Christopher served as a Director of The Menzies Research Centre, which is a leading Australian think-tank, from 2003 to 2007. He is an experienced financial economist with expertise in investments, portfolio construction and the dynamics of the residential real estate market. He has published widely on policy matters relating to housing and financial economics. Christopher received Joint 1st Class Honours (Economics & Finance) and the University Medal in Economics & Finance from the University of Sydney, where he was a Credit Suisse First Boston Scholar and University Honours Scholar. He studied for a PhD at Cambridge University in 2002 and 2003, where he was a Commonwealth Trust Scholar.
Friday, March 27, 2009 Obama's Last Hope (4 comments)
Make no mistake: President Obama's recently announced $US75 billion housing plan is a long-term policy disaster. The good news is that I believe there is a way forward, albeit one that will require courage, foresight and conviction on the part of the Administration's decision-makers. Given the life-defining stakes, it is never too late to recalibrate one's trajectory.