May 2010 Archives

The Washington Post
By: Michelle Singletary
May 27, 2010

Why in the world would Congress provide some consumers with free access to credit scores, but not others?

American Banker
By: Mark Fogarty
May 28, 2010

With all the attention recently on the effects of the tax credit for first-time homeowners, it's easy to forget there's one on the multifamily side as well. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit, after a bad couple of years, is poised to return to its former status as the premier production conduit for affordable multifamily housing.

KXLY
By: Tori Brunetti
May 26, 2010

SPOKANE -- A program that has helped hundreds of people come out of poverty in Spokane now faces a bleak future with its funding slashed by the state.

US State News
May 27, 2010

LANSING, Mich., May 26 -- The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth issued the following news release:

The Washington Post
By: Dina ElBoghdady
May 27, 2010

Tucked into the landmark financial legislation making its way through Congress are little-publicized provisions aimed at preventing a repeat of the mortgage meltdown that ultimately doomed global financial markets.

The Washington Post
By: Renae Merle
May 27, 2010

New home sales surged last month as home buyers rushed to take advantage of tax credits that have helped lift the housing market, according to government data released Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jared A. Favole
May 25, 2010

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama urged Congress Tuesday to pass legislation that would create a $30 billion fund to incite banks to extend credit to small businesses.

From the wallets of babes

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Lowell Sun
By: Jennifer Myers
May 25, 2010

LOWELL -- In 2002, more young adults filed for bankruptcy than graduated from college. Colleges say they lose more students to credit-card debt than to academic failure.

The Washington Post
By: Brady Dennis
May 25, 2010

As the two houses of Congress prepare to merge their financial overhaul bills, the Senate on Monday voted 60 to 30 to recommend that thousands of the nation's auto dealers be exempted from oversight by a new regulator for consumer financial protection.

The Huffington Post
By: Gary Rivlin
May 24, 2010

You'll hear it a lot in the coming days in the continuing debate over financial reform.

The New York Times
By: Sewell Chan and Andrew Martin
May 24, 2010

The Federal Reserve on Monday introduced an online database listing the terms and conditions of more than 300 credit card issuers to help consumers find a card that best suits their personal finance needs.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jane J. Kim
May 22, 2010

Now that families have sent in their college acceptance letters, reality is setting in.

How in the world are they going to pay the bill?

This Is Money
By: Alan O'Sullivan
May 24, 2010

Child Trust Funds have been axed for all children by the Government as part of its attempt to tackle the nation's £156bn deficit in public finances.

The Times News (North Carolina; IDA)
By: Jessica Goodman
May 23, 2010

Jessica Cox Cervantes, 31, walked into Western Carolina Community Action in August 2004 by accident. She was looking for work and needed help paying her rent.

The New York Times
By: Andrew Martin
May 21, 2010

After months of intense lobbying to shape the future of financial regulation, it turns out that orthodontists and florists most likely won't be under the thumb of a new regulator after all.

The Washington Post
May 21, 2010

Payday lenders prey on the disadvantaged, pushing easy credit, charging exorbitant interest rates for short term loans and then trapping individuals in an endless debt spiral.

KALW News
By: Eric Weaver
May 19, 2010

In recent years, Americans have become increasingly aware of microfinance as a tool for helping poor people in developing countries to help themselves. While microfinance has actually been around since the 1970's (and arguably, longer), it has been rocketed to prominence of late by Muhammad Yunus' Nobel Prize in'06 and the phenomenon that is Kiva.org.

The San Francisco Chronicle
By: Andrew S. Ross
May 21, 2010

"I've got a small ice cream business that's not doing so well," California first lady Maria Shriver told 1,000-odd attendees at the Microfinance USA 2010 conference in San Francisco. "Maybe I need a loan, too."

Congressional Quarterly
By: Eugene Mulero
May 6, 2010

The House backed a $6 billion consumer rebate program for energy efficient home improvements that has been touted by the Obama administration.

Senate Passes Finance Bill

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Greg Hitt And Damian Paletta
May 21, 2010

Biggest Regulatory Overhaul of Wall Street Since Depression Moves Closer to Law

WASHINGTON--The Senate on Thursday approved the most extensive overhaul of financial-sector regulation since the 1930s, hoping to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis that hit the U.S. economy starting in 2007.

The Huffington Post
By: Jason Alderman
May 19, 2010

Among the many lessons to be learned from the recent financial crisis is that people of all ages need access to better financial education so they can make smarter decisions on critical issues that will impact their financial futures. We also need to ensure that everyone has access to basic financial services many of us take for granted.

The Examiner
By: Broderick Perkins
May 18, 2010

Consumers are getting gouged by payday loans; auto title loans and small, unsecured installment loans because few states adequately protect them from high costs and the loan products come with few if any federal government protections

The Washington Post
By: Renae Merle
May 19, 2010

The number of U.S. homeowners who are behind on their mortgages rose to a record level in the first quarter, according to industry data released Wednesday that also included tentative signs that the nation's foreclosure crisis may be starting to ease.

The Washington Post
By: Brady Dennis and Shailagh Murray
May 20, 2010

Two Senate Democrats broke party ranks Wednesday to block an effort to wrap up debate on landmark legislation to overhaul the nation's financial regulation, potentially delaying passage.

The Washington Post
By: Valerie Strauss
May 18, 2010

If you doubt that poverty plays a role in student achievement, look at these statistics cited in a report released Tuesday by the Casey Foundation:

ShoreBank pulls through

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The Chicago Tribune
By: Becky Yerak
May 19, 2010

Friends in high places' help South Side lender raise $135 million, more than it needed to stave off seizure

More than 30 Illinois banks have failed since the beginning of 2009: a $7 billion-asset bank like Corus, headline-making banks like the Giannoulias family's Broadway, and banks with stellar reputations for helping the community like Park National.

The Daily News Leader
May 17, 2010

LEXINGTON - A new report by two students in Washington and Lee University's Shepherd Program on Poverty and Human Capability highlights the need for more structure to support personal financial needs in the Rockbridge County area.
The Wall Street Journal
By: Darrell A. Hughes
May 18, 2010

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones Newswires)--The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday unveiled a grant initiative that could spur billions in lending to small businesses and help small, minority-owned firms.
The Guardian (UK)
By: Chris McGreal
May 17, 2010

  • Study finds gaping racial divide in household assets
  • Economic policies blamed for growing inequality
A huge wealth gap has opened up between black and white people in the US over the past quarter of a century - a difference sufficient to put two children through university - because of racial discrimination and economic policies that favour the affluent.

An elusive payoff

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The Boston Globe
By: Derrick Z. Jackson
May 18, 2010

Gains elsewhere belie a wealth gap for black families

ON THE SURFACE, the American Dream for African-Americans has risen on a steady slope right into the White House. Not only did the United States elect its first black president in 2008, that was also the same year, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, that the percentage of African-Americans who live in metropolitan-area suburbs crossed the 50 percent mark. ``Within metropolitan areas,'' the report said, ``the 2000s indicate that the nation is well on its way toward achieving greater city-suburban racial and ethnic integration.''

Daily Camera (Colorado)
By: Heath Urie
May 17, 2010

A bill that would expand the protections of owners of mobile homes is on its way to Gov. Bill Ritter's desk, which has Boulder officials and residents who helped draft and promote the legislation cheering.
The Wall Street Journal
By: James R. Hagerty
May 18, 2010

One in Four in Government's Mortgage Program Is Dropped; Tales of Exhausted Savings

The government's mortgage-modification program has left some struggling homeowners worse off than they were before.
The New York Times
By: David M. Herszenhorn
May 18, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Anyone rejected for a credit card, car loan or department store charge account has most likely discovered a frustrating aspect of the government-mandated, free credit reports: the glaring absence of the numerical credit score that lenders rely on to make their decisions.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By: Laura Lester
May 18, 2010

On the last day of the 2010 legislative session, Georgia's General Assembly voted to eliminate the refundable portion of the Low Income Tax Credit, or LITC, which provides needed tax relief and wage support for workers earning less than $20,000 per year. This change will take nearly $22 million directly out of the pockets of more than 1 million affected taxpayers --- predominantly seniors and working families.
The Wall Street Journal
By: Eleanor Laise
May 3, 2010

As Americans struggle to recover from the financial crisis, many teachers, nurses and charity workers are seeing confusing changes in their retirement plans.

Tightening the Credit Screws

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Emily Maltby
May 17, 2010

Community banks are still offering loans. But businesses have to jump through a lot more hoops to get them.

In the depths of the credit crunch, community lenders became a popular financing source for Main Street. But small-business owners may need to work harder to get support from local banks these days.
The San Francisco Chronicle
By: Ben Mangan
May 16, 2010

The nation's premier event on domestic Microfinance - Microfinance USA - opens here in San Francisco on May 20th. I have the privilege to speak on a plenary on savings at the conference, and look forward to what I know will be a fascinating conversation. There appears to be a consensus among those of us working to encourage savings among lower income earners, that driving savings is a powerful strategy that can help people create prosperity. But there are sharply divergent views over the best way to encourage savings, and lots of data and perspectives that inform the arguments.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sharon G. Hadary
May 17, 2010

Women-owned businesses are a lot smaller than men-owned companies. Blame it partly on the women themselves-- and partly on the people and institutions they deal with.

The phenomenal growth of women-owned businesses has made headlines for three decades--women consistently have been launching new enterprises at twice the rate of men, and their growth rates of employment and revenue have outpaced the economy.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
By: Alan J. Heavens
May 16, 2010

Is owning property a mark of success? And who should be entitled?

With record numbers of foreclosures littering the landscape and even more likely to come, the housing industry has been doing a lot of soul-searching on the question of who should be a homeowner.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By: Adrianna Kezar
May 9, 2010

By teaching students how to approach big decisions about money, colleges will improve retention and impart life skills.

President Obama's focus on college access and completion has drawn new attention to the retention rates of students-particularly those from low-income families, who have long been discouraged from earning college degrees. Higher-education researchers have extensively studied factors like financial aid, academic preparation, and socialization, but most of that research has overlooked a significant factor that can help such students succeed. That factor is financial education.

School Library Journal
By: Lauren Barack
May 12, 2010

Susan Beacham thanks a four-bellied pig for giving her the edge to teach young children how to find financial footing--and for giving her firm, Money Savvy Generation, its spot on the educational map.
The Washington Post
By: Renae Merle
May 14, 2010

More people lost their homes to foreclosure in April as banks worked through a backlog of troubled borrowers, according to data released Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal
By: Emily Maltby
May 14, 2010

Loans to Small Businesses Dropped at Double the Overall Rate, Claims Watchdog Group; 'Lending Is Not Springing Back'

Government funding to U.S. banks has done little to ease the credit crunch for small businesses--and the situation doesn't seem to be improving, according to a new report.
American Banker
By: Robert Barba
May 14, 2010

ShoreBank just might make it after all.

WRAL
By: Kelcey Carlson
May 13, 2010

Chapel Hill, N.C. -- When the economy took a downturn in 2008, more people headed back to school. With that, the number of people who are behind in payments on student loans is steadily on the rise again.

CNN Money
By: Tami Luhby
May 12, 2010

The Obama administration is giving 10 states a total of $2.1 billion to come up with innovative ways to stem the foreclosure crisis. They are charged with finding solutions for the unemployed and underwater -- two groups typically shut out of loan modifications.

The American Prospect
By: Tim Fernholz
May 3, 2010

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs is housed on some rented floors near Wall Street, amid great banks that profited as millions of American consumers bought toxic loans and catalyzed a recession that drove further millions out of work. While the department doesn't have jurisdiction over the big banks, it is often charged with cleaning up the messes they create. The office, which is painted in a decidedly un-bureaucratic neon-orange and royal-blue color scheme, features exhibits about the 40th anniversary of the Department of Consumer Affairs including a display of the brass weights once used by city officials to check merchants' scales and prevent fraud. Until recently, the department's core mission hadn't changed much: Ensure that weights and measures are accurate and that truth-in-pricing laws are enforced.

OpEd News
By: Victor Corral
May 11, 2010

The U.S. economy needs immigrants. According to the Center for American Progress, if we passed immigration reform that included legalization, there would be an estimated $1.5 trillion boost to U.S. GDP over 10 years. On the other hand, they note that pursuing an "enforcement-only" policy would cost us $2.6 trillion over 10 years. It's time we look at immigration not as a problem, but an opportunity to craft a policy that both recognizes that immigrants make valuable contributions to our economy and supports their ability to do.

Hiding in plain sight

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Tahlequah Daily Press
By: Josh Newton
May 11, 2010

TAHLEQUAH -- Take a look around. At any given moment, Cherokee County appears to have many things going for its future residents.
The Wall Street Journal
By: Sarah E. Needleman
May 11, 2010

Business incubators--programs designed to help launch entrepreneurial ventures--are expanding nationwide amid increased demand for the resources, services and counseling the programs typically provide for little or no cost.
The Wall Street Journal
By: James R. Hagerty
May 11, 2010

People often fall in love with their homes based on some charming but impractical feature or other. Now, increasing numbers of homeowners are abandoning their nests for similarly emotional--and sometimes irrational--reasons.
The Washington Post
By: Petula Dvorak
May 11, 2010

To fifth-graders, the solution to poverty is pretty obvious.
The New York Times
By: Trip Gabriel and Jennifer Medina
May 9, 2010

When Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo wanted to meet certain members of the hedge fund crowd, seeking donors for his all-but-certain run for governor, what he heard was this: Talk to Joe.
The Washington Post
By: Renae Merle
May 11, 2010

By the time Phyllis Caldwell signed up to lead the Treasury Department team overseeing the government's massive foreclosure-prevention effort six months ago, the federal program had reached a precarious point.

Arizona Daily Star
By: Patty Machelor
May 8, 2010

Windows were broken, doors wouldn't shut tight, the cooler was malfunctioning and there wasn't heat.
The Washington Post
By: Michelle Singletary
May 9, 2010

The financial teaching grade is in for teachers -- and it's not good.
The Wall Street Journal
By: James R. Hagerty And Ruth Simon
May 8, 2010

Home-Loan Aid Brings Little Relief To Those With Other Big Bills Waiting

After months of negotiations, Wells Fargo & Co. agreed in February to reduce Cynthia Mason's mortgage payments by about $300 a month.
United Press International
May 7, 2010

WALTHAM, Mass., May 7 (UPI) -- Ninety percent of Latino and African-American seniors live on the edge of financial collapse, accelerated by the economic downturn, U.S. researchers said.

A Rich New Poverty Measure

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The New York Times
By: Nancy Folbre
May 10, 2010

The Census Bureau recently announced plans to develop a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (S.P.M.), also referred to as a Supplemental Income Poverty Measure (SIPM).
The Huffington Post
By: Jonathan Lewis
May 6, 2010

Allow me to introduce Maurice Lim Miller.

Poverty line to be redefined

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The Columbus Dispatch
By: Rita Price
May 6, 2010

Millions of livelihoods and billions of dollars - including school-lunch programs, Medicaid and subsidized housing - depend on the income calculation known as the poverty line.
The Boston Globe
By: Edward L. Glaeser,
May 7, 2010

THE LATEST Case-Shiller housing data suggest that housing markets have now stabilized. Prices were higher in February 2010 than they were in February 2009, both for Boston and for Case-Shiller's 20-city index. This stability makes it possible to move beyond stop-gap measures and to envision fundamental reforms that will make the next housing crisis less damaging. Lowering the $1 million cap on the home mortgage interest deduction is a good place to start.
St. Louis Business Journal
May 6, 2010

Washington University in St. Louis is among four organizations that will use a $12.5 million grant from the MasterCard Foundation to conduct a five-year study on how to deliver savings services to low-income youth in developing countries.
Philadelphia Inquirer
By: Mike Armstrong
May 6, 2010

While what teens don't know about money gets the most attention, financial literacy is a problem across age groups.
The Wall Street Journal
By: Emily Maltby
May 6, 2010

A growing number of the nation's lenders are pursuing a speciality that could make them a promising source of funding for small-business owners and entrepreneurs who don't qualify for traditional bank loans.
Oakland Tribune
By: Eve Mitchell
May 5, 2010

The popular state homebuyer tax credit returned Saturday after running out of money last year in just four months. But if you're interested in obtaining the tax break to help reduce the cost of buying a home, you better act fast.
The Grand Rapids Press
By: Matt VandeBunte
May 3, 2010

WYOMING -- Having rented housing the past nine years, Cassandra Kidder was eager to get her family into their own home. But the foreclosure homes she looked at needed some tender loving care.
USA Today
By: Don Campbell
May 5, 2010

Millions of high school and college graduates will hear commencement speeches this month in which they'll be exhorted to greatness and told they have the power to change the world. Unfortunately, some of them will then wander off into a financial jungle -- a world they will neither understand nor be equipped to cope with, much less change.
The Washington Post
By: Valerie Strauss
May 4, 2010

Two-thirds of students who graduate from college with bachelor's degrees leave with some student loan debt, according to a new analysis.
The Washington Post
By: Edmund L. Andrews and Lori Montgomery
May 2, 2010

Montgomery is a Post staff writer. Andrews works for the Fiscal Times, an independent digital news organization that specializes in fiscal and economic matters. It is funded by Peter G. Peterson, who separately supports groups that advocate for long-term debt reduction.

Under the new health-care law, millions of Americans will get government help to cover medical bills. Many will simply be added to the rolls of Medicaid, the government health plan for the poor. But the rest will get their subsidies a different way -- through tax credits that lower the cost of their insurance premiums and co-payments.

The Salt Lake Tribune
By: Lisa Schnencker
May 3, 2010

Layoffs.

Mortgage debacles.

Bailouts.

For some Americans, the last couple years have seemed like a financial apocalypse. But in Utah, there's at least one shiny coin of hope for the future: students here know their stuff.

The Herald-Sun
By: William Schweke
May 1, 2010

Like a lot of people, I am a big fan of the television show, "Dirty Jobs," on the Discovery Cable Network. Every week, the show's host goes out for a day and works at an always challenging, sometimes disgusting and often dangerous job.
The Wall Street Journal
By: Anthony Paletta
April 30, 2010

It's no surprise that President Obama, with a lengthy background in the non-profit sector, has made strong efforts to reach out to the philanthropic community. What may come as a surprise is just how exhilarated the philanthropic community is by the attention.

Illinois Radio Network

Treasurer Wants Newborns to Have Savings Accounts

May 1, 2010

 

The state treasurer's office is looking for ways to set up every baby born in Illinois with a savings account.

Huffington Post (Sam's Club Campaign op-ed)

Online Opponents, Real Life Allies: Innovation and Entrepreneurship are Levers for Social Change

April 30, 2010

     

Our nation was built on a firm belief in the entrepreneurial spirit and the power of economic opportunity. People can overcome tremendous odds to attain financial security if given a little support and a little faith in their ability to succeed.

Hindustan Times (Asia)

Savings account in child's name can provide lifelong benefits

May 2, 2010

 

Washington, May 2 -- A study has found that opening a savings account in the child's name can provide lifelong benefits to the child.

 

Graduates As Debtors

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The New York Times

Graduates As Debtors

By Jennifer Saranow Schultz

May 1, 2010

 

The College Board, in a new report, found that bachelor's degree recipients who graduated with the most student debt tended to be those who went to for-profit institutions or were independent -- meaning they generally did not get support from their parents.

Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania)

She knows better than anyone the benefits of a savings plan: Because of budget cuts, Family Savings Account to stop taking new applicants in June

By Karen L. Miller

May 2, 2010

 

May 2--FREE MONEY -- that's a deal that's hard to refuse.

 

And starting in June, it will be a deal even harder to come by.

 

The federally funded, state-administered Family Savings Account, which matches dollar for dollar savings from eligible families that save at least $40 a month, will cease to accept new applicants June 30.

The New York Times

Microcredit? To Him, It's Only a Start

By Devin Leonard

May 2, 2010

 

IN 2006, the Nobel committee made the surprising decision to award its peace prize not to a philanthropist or a human rights activist, but to Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. What did this financier from a small, impoverished country do to deserve the world's most prestigious award? He invented microcredit, the practice of lending tiny amounts of money to the poor.

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