January 2011 Archives

The Washington Post
By Eileen AJ Connelly
January 28, 2011

NEW YORK -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. is handing over $19 million to help small businesses in distressed neighborhoods.

The Washington Post
By: Cristina Silva
January 29, 2011

LAS VEGAS -- The portraits of his dead father are among the few mementoes Bud Meyers is certain he will take with him when he is forced from his home of five years next month because he cannot pay the rent.

Within Our Means

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
January 31, 2011

In the next two months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature will have to make very difficult decisions about how to close a $10 billion budget deficit -- which state offices to shutter, which services and aid to cut, which employees to lay off and which taxes to raise. There are no easy fixes left.

Home Prices Sink Further

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Nick Timiraos
January 31, 2011

Declines Reported in All 28 Major Metropolitan Areas; Unsold Inventory Piles Up.

Home values are falling at an accelerating rate in many cities across the U.S.

USA Today
By: Adam Shell
January 31, 2011

NEW YORK -- Carving out a winning personal finance plan today is increasingly less about how old you are and more about what stage of life you're in.

USA Today
By: Christine Dugas
January 31, 2011

From piggy bank to safety net to anchor.

Homeownership used to be the bedrock of the American dream, but the economic storm and its lasting effects have radically changed how everyone -- no matter what stage of life they're in -- looks at their home.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Laura Meckler
January 31, 2011

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama will ask Congress to permanently eliminate capital gains taxes on certain investments made by small businesses as part of the budget plan he submits to Congress next month, a White House official said.

NPR
By: Scott Horsley
January 31, 2011

The Obama administration was supposed to offer a restructuring plan for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by Monday, but the plan has been delayed at least until mid-February as policymakers struggle to define what the future of mortgage financing should look like.

For Housing, a Quick Fix or Less Risk

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Floyd Norris
January 27, 2011

What can be done with Frannie? We love her and we need her. But we have to get along without her, or at least learn to live without relying on her so much.

Obama and Corporate America

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
January 27, 2011

President Obama is smart to extend an olive branch to American businesses. Our economic success depends on businesses investing, growing and creating new jobs. From expanding exports to improving infrastructure, government and businesses share important goals.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Robin Sidel
January 28, 2011

MIAMI LAKES, Fla.--Before BankUnited FSB collapsed in May 2009, employees lit candles and prayed that Florida's biggest bank would survive the bad loans it made before the housing bubble burst.

Flint Journal (Michigan)
By: Kristin Longley
January 28, 2011

GENESEE COUNTY - It's a relatively new financial boost for working families that has its roots in Genesee County - but its days could be numbered.


The Huffington Post
By: Tim Berry
January 27, 2011

Everybody agrees that small business is good for an economy, that it promotes jobs, and so on. But what does anybody want the government to do about it? And what can governments really do about it, effectively?

NPR
By: Claudio Sanchez
January 27, 2011

The Obama administration has touted community colleges as the one institution in higher education that can best adapt to the nation's economic realities and still deliver the education and training Americans so desperately need.

U.S. must reduce deficit, IMF warns

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Washington Post
By: Howard Schneider
January 28, 2011

U.S. officials must act quickly to control government deficits or face slower growth and even more difficult choices in the future, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday in a report criticizing the tepid U.S. response to its rising public debt.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Maya Jackson Randall
January 27, 2011

WASHINGTON--A blue-ribbon panel investigating the 2008 financial crisis blamed failures in financial regulation, flaws in corporate governance and excessive borrowing as key elements leading to the meltdown, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Chairman Phil Angelides said Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Alan Zibel
January 28, 2011

WASHINGTON--The Obama administration's pick to run the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doesn't want to be renominated after his candidacy ran into strong Republican opposition, a White House official said Thursday.

Bloomberg
By: John Tozzi
January 24, 2011

Treasury says its new fund, an idea in the 2010 State of the Union address, will soon start pumping capital into community banks.

(Updates the number of banks in the fourth paragraph.)

During his last State of the Union, President Barack Obama trumpeted a new $30 billion fund designed to boost small business lending. At the time outstanding loans to small businesses had declined 5 percent, or nearly $36 billion, since 2008, according to data from bank regulatory filings known as call reports. They continued to drop through the first three quarters of 2010 by another 4 percent, some $30 billion.

The Huffington Post
By: Chris Kirkham
January 26, 2011

As the Department of Education gets closer to finalizing regulations that would hold for-profit colleges accountable for saddling students with debts they cannot repay, a wide array of civil rights, student advocacy and consumer groups wrote a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday urging him to immediately move forward with the proposed rule.

Fed to Continue Bond-Buying Program

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Sewell Chan
January 26, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve policy makers voted unanimously on Wednesday to continue the central bank's $600 billion plan to spur the recovery by buying government bonds.

The New York Times
By: Andrew Keh
January 26, 2011

Using the accepted social metrics of teenagers in this country, Thakane Masondo should have plenty of friends.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Dana Mattioli
January 27, 2011

President Barack Obama made some concessions to the business community in his State of the Union address Tuesday, saying he'd like to lower the corporate tax rate and foster U.S. job growth and innovationMany chief executives reacted skeptically to President Barack Obama's offer to lower the corporate-tax rate and foster U.S. job growth, but some said they appreciated the president's changed tone toward business during his State of the Union address.

Deficit Outlook Darkens

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta, Janet Hook & Jonathan Weisman
January 27, 2011

Stark Warning for 2011 Fuels Battle Over Government Spending and Taxation.

WASHINGTON--The federal budget deficit will reach a record of nearly $1.5 trillion in 2011 due to the weak economy, higher spending and fresh tax cuts, congressional budget analysts said, in a stark warning that will drive the growing battle over government spending and taxation.

Education Week
By: Alyson Klein & Michele McNeil
January 25, 2011

President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to put education front-and-center on the national agenda, and on the agenda of the newly divided Congress. And he tied his education proposals, including the long-stalled reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, directly to the nation's economic future.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery
January 25, 2011

After two years of federal spending to boost the economy, the ground has shifted decisively in Washington: On Tuesday night, the most pressing question was not whether to spend more to create jobs but whether to cut spending, deeply and now.

The New York Times
By: Terry Pristin
January 26, 2011

Melbourne Apartments is a new 84-unit building in Des Moines, where a three-bedroom apartment rents for $775 a month but comes with restrictions -- a family of five, for example, can earn no more than $47,460 a year. What is remarkable about this otherwise modest project is that the equity came from the search-engine giant Google, whose Mountain View, Calif., headquarters are more than 1,500 miles away.

'Benefit corporations' sign up

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Washington Post
By: Danielle Douglas
January 24, 2011

It was not enough for Pennye Jones-Napier to sell eco-friendly chew toys or fair-trade collars at her Takoma Park pet store, the Big Bad Woof. She wanted to make sure her customers could hold her accountable to the sustainable practices she preached.

The Huffington Post
By: David A. Love
January 25, 2011

"Them that's got shall get. Them that's not shall lose," as the Billie Holiday song goes. "Yes, the strong gets more while the weak ones fade. Empty pockets don't ever make the grade."

Is College Tuition Too Low?

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: David Leonhardt
January 25, 2011

My column this week looks at ways to cut wasteful spending on higher education and redirect the money more productively. Another way to keep colleges in decent financial shape during tough economic times, of course, is to raise tuition.

The Washington Post
By: Michael A. Fletcher
January 26, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - They once called Germantown Avenue the Great Road, which seemed like a bad joke as Ethel Cherry rolled past the winding corridor's ramshackle stores and vacant buildings hours before President Obama's State of the Union address.

Cut Waste or Invest? Try Both

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: David Leonhardt
January 25, 2011

President Obama wants to be sure that the United States keeps making the investments that help the economy grow. Congressional Republicans want the government to stop wasting so much money.

The New York Times
By: Jackie Calmes
January 25, 2011

WASHINGTON -- By proposing a two-year extension to the three-year domestic spending freeze he called for a year ago, President Obama sought to quickly counter Republican demands for deeper cuts to shrink government and reduce annual budget deficits.

The New York Times
By: Sheryl Gay Stolberg
January 25, 2011

WASHINGTON -- President Obama challenged Americans on Tuesday night to unleash their creative spirit, set aside their partisan differences and come together around a common goal of outcompeting other nations in a rapidly shifting global economy.

House Pushes Deep Spending Cuts

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Janet Hook & Siobhan Hughes
January 26, 2011

Contrasting Obama's Proposed Five-Year Freeze, Republicans Back More Drastic Curbs in Fiscal 2011.

WASHINGTON--The Republican-controlled House, hours before the State of the Union address, passed a resolution Tuesday calling for more drastic and immediate cuts in domestic spending than envisioned by President Barack Obama in the speech.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Kelly Evans
January 26, 2011

The Federal Reserve is at the end of its rope.

A Call to Overhaul Corporate Taxes

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Martin Vaughan
January 26, 2011

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama opened the door Tuesday to lowering U.S. corporate tax rates, launching a politically fraught and complex effort that holds promise for some U.S. firms and pain for others.

The New York Times
By: Sewell Chan
January 25, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The 2008 financial crisis was an "avoidable" disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a federal inquiry.

The Associated Press
By: Ben Feller
January 25, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - Addressing a demand for economic answers, President Barack Obama will try to convince the American people and a divided Congress that he has a vision for speeding up job creation, promoting spending on the core of his agenda but promising to rein in a growing, staggering debt. His State of the Union address will reflect reality: The economy trumps all.

The Washington Post
By: Michael A. Fletcher
January 25, 2011

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that he opposes changing the law to allow fiscally pressed states to seek bankruptcy protection, an idea that has been raised by some conservatives.

The New York Times
By: Motoko Rich
January 24, 2011

A year ago, the economy looked as if it were speeding down the runway, only to stall out in the spring.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Nick Timiraos
January 22, 2011

The Obama administration is likely to miss a deadline for issuing a long-awaited report about the future of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and what might replace them.

GOP Feels Heat on Loan Guarantees

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)


The Wall Street Journal
By: Alan Zibel & Nick Timiraos
January 25, 2011

A push by Republican lawmakers to scale back government backing for home mortgages is meeting resistance from the housing industry, a longtime ally of the party.
In recent months, banking executives and mortgage investors from groups including the Financial Services Roundtable, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts have met with Republican lawmakers and their staffs to press them on the need for a permanent government role in guaranteeing mortgages.

Chicago Daily Herald
By: Eileen O. Daday
January 25, 2011

With the downturn in the economy, single mothers are among the hardest hit, often living paycheck to paycheck and one small crisis away from homelessness.

WTOC
January 24, 2011

SAVANNAH, GA - The city of Savannah is a leader in developing innovative anti-poverty strategies, according to a report released last week by the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

New America Foundation
By: Karrie Peterson
January 21, 2011

This post was written by Karrie Peterson, MSW Graduate Student at Washington University in St. Louis, and Research Fellow with the Asset Building Program.

Given the current economic climate, it would be a surprise to find city governments across the country pioneering new policy strategies, but in fact many cities are playing a pivotal role in the promotion of savings and asset-building strategies as a way to encourage household economic security and alleviate poverty.

Homeownership Dreams Realized

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Sun-Sentinel (Florida)
By: Don Crinklaw
January 23, 2011

Families Move Into Habitat For Humanity Homes In Lauderdale

Seven months ago, Habitat for Humanity of Broward County began building three homes for low-income families in Fort Lauderdale's Roosevelt Park neighborhood with the help of Deerfield Beach-based JM Family Enterprises.

College Saving Gets Trickier

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jane J. Kim
January 22, 2011

Burned by your 529 plan? There's a chance that your provider has sweetened the deal. But recent tax changes may make other strategies more attractive.

After being pilloried by critics and written off by many families, 529 college-saving plans are getting better. But well-heeled investors still would be wise to spread their bets around.

The New York Times
By: Tamar Lewin
January 24, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- For bargain-hunting families, state colleges and universities, supported by tax money, have long been a haven from the high cost of private education.

The Washington Post
By: Shailagh Murray & Lori Montgomery
January 24, 2011

The debate that will define this year and is likely to set the terms for the 2012 elections began in earnest over the weekend, with President Obama and Republican leaders presenting competing visions for reducing the deficit and expanding the economy.

The Huffington Post
By: Bruce Lesley & Morna Murray
January 21, 2011

No one questions we are in tough times. More than one in five children is poor; one in four children is at risk of hunger; nearly 8 million children go uninsured; unemployment is unacceptably high; and poverty is rising. Families are struggling, and as they do, so do their children.

Center for American Progress
By: Christian E. Weller, Jaryn Fields & Folayemi Agbede
January 21, 2011

Introduction
The Great Recession of 2007-2009 produced widespread employment losses for communities of color and white families alike--losses that have yet to be overcome amid the still tentative economic recovery. All U.S. households were severely hurt by the recession but communities of color experienced larger losses than whites. This also means that, as the economic recovery deepens and the labor market recovers, communities of color will have to climb out of a deeper hole to regain the same level of economic security as they had before the crisis.

States News Service
January 20, 2011

The following information was released by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA):

New York City is a leader in developing innovative anti-poverty strategies, according to a report released earlier today by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) on municipal financial empowerment. The new fieldmunicipal financial empowermentgoes beyond traditional efforts aimed at building residents' income by increasing knowledge of and access to affordable financial products, encouraging savings and investment, and protecting residents in the financial marketplace. According to the CFED report, municipal financial empowerment breaks new ground because city governments are entering an arena previously occupied only by nonprofits. New York City and other municipalities have launched dozens of innovative programs to leverage their power to help residents with low and moderate incomes build wealth and assets on a large scale.

Thrift sensible in a tough economy

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By: Theresa Waldron
January 21, 2011

The grocery order going down the conveyor belt is fit for a king: steaks, wine, exotic produce, gourmet ice cream, smoked salmon, wheels of brie. The order total is more than $300. The customer whips out her American Express card and slides it into the card reader, as she chatters on about the snowy weather in the forecast.

GOP Will Seek Cuts to 2008 Levels

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Janet Hook
January 21, 2011

WASHINGTON--House Republicans are launching their long-promised effort to scale back federal spending to the levels in place before President Barack Obama took office. But the GOP is divided over how quickly to try to meet that target.

The Wall Street Journal
By John D. McKinnon
January 21, 2011

A drive to overhaul the U.S. tax code got off to a quick start at a congressional hearing Thursday when an influential business group threw its weight behind the effort and lawmakers of both parties pledged to work together on a fix.

Walking Up a Slide, Policy Style

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

New America Foundation
By: Rachel Black
January 20, 2011

Poverty is growing and being populated by people who once occupied the middle-class, a phenomenon the Washington Post is calling "the Great Slide," a legacy of the Great Recession induced by "job losses, declining home values and decimated retirement savings." For many of the nouveau-poor, the impact at the bottom of the slide is cushioned by a set of safety net programs that are intended to provide families with the resources to prevent extreme hardship. As Melissa Boteach, the manager of the Half in Ten campaign, points out to The Nation:

Running the government on 8¢

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

CNNMoney
By Jeanne Sahadi
January 21, 2011

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Those who clamor for more "limited government" rarely define what they mean. But assuming nothing changes over the next decade, Americans could be left with a de facto limited government -- limited in what it will be able to do.

The New York Times
By: Mary Williams Walsh
January 20, 2011

Policy makers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers.

Could Grandma lose her house?

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

U.S. News & World Report
By: Philip Moeller
January 20, 2011

Many seniors who took out reverse mortgages have not been making property tax and insurance payments -- and their homes could be foreclosed on as a result.

The government is moving to head off a growing problem with its reverse mortgage program. Large numbers of elderly borrowers -- perhaps thousands -- face possible evictions from their homes because they've stopped making property tax and home insurance payments. While homeowners with reverse mortgages are freed from mortgage payments after taking out the loans, they remain liable for property tax, home insurance and maintenance expenses. Failure to make these payments can trigger foreclosure and possible eviction.

Education Week
By: Anthony Cody
January 19, 2011

In our work as educators, we spend much of our time discussing how to get young people on track to enter and complete college, and thus be ready for those wonderful careers in science, math and technology. But sometimes I have a disturbing sense of unreality. Sometimes it feels as if we are working so hard to get our students on a conveyer belt that leads - where? California's community colleges, already operating on a bare bones budget, face a cut of another $400 million. The State University and UC systems are losing $500 million. These cuts will mean the elimination of classes, increases in fees, and fewer available spaces for incoming students.

The Associated Press
January 21, 2011

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- As cash-strapped school districts lay off teachers and close campuses, publicly funded charter schools are flourishing and altering the landscape of public education.

Education Week
By: Catherine Gewertz
January 20, 2011

Stubbornly high college remediation rates have revealed a painful equation: High school completion does not equal college readiness. That disconnection has prompted national leaders to focus like never before on figuring out how to ensure that high school graduates are truly ready to succeed in college. In that quest, a California program is often cited as a role model.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sara Murray
January 20, 2011

As cities buckle under budget deficits and families struggle to make ends meet, municipalities are dabbling in a new service for their residents: financial education.

Firms With Collateral Gain an Edge

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Emily Maltby
January 20, 2011

Companies With Tangible Assets Get First Look From Banks Over Others, But Deal Isn't Guaranteed.

For small businesses, collateral is taking center stage when it comes to grabbing the attention of banks as they begin to loosen their purse strings.

The New York Times
By: Michael Powell
January 19, 2011

As state governments struggle with the fiscal damage caused by the recession, an income tax increase has become a rarely used remedy.

The New York Times
By: David E. Kapell
January 19, 2011

THERE are many factors behind the mortgage crisis, but there is only one simple explanation for why we have failed to solve it. Any effort to help homeowners by forgiving some of their loans is said to create a moral hazard, rendering it politically toxic. But without help, homeowners continue to struggle, foreclosures continue to mount and the housing industry continues to drag down the economy.

The Huffington Post
By: Karin Chenoweth
January 19, 2011

Every year The Education Trust, where I work, honors high-performing schools that do well by students of color and students who live in poverty.

The Huffington Post
By: Liz Mandarano
January 19, 2011

With all the brouhaha surrounding the recent negotiations between the White House and Congress regarding the limit and tax rate for estates and gifts, one area that has failed to garner any attention is whether the definition of gifts should exclude 529 college saving plans. Arguably, these transfers should be exempt from the definition for federal tax purposes in the same manner as direct tuition or medical payments. Moreover, the current gift exclusion structure arbitrarily diminishes college saving plans' potential growth for children of single or unmarried or divorced parents with unequal asset power.

The White House Looks for Work

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Peter Baker
January 19, 2011

Three days before Christmas, President Obama gathered his economic team in the West Wing's Roosevelt Room to review themes for his State of the Union address. The edge-of-the-cliff crisis he inherited had passed, but with more than 14 million Americans still out of work, he was looking for bold ways to bring down unemployment. The ideas presented to him, though, seemed familiar and uninspired. "You know, guys," he said, according to someone in the room, "I've told you before, I want you to come to me with ideas that excite me." Nothing he was hearing excited him.

The Huffington Post
By: April Castro
January 19, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas -- Public education in Texas is facing billions in proposed budget cuts that would include slashing arts education, pre-kindergarten programs and teacher incentive pay as lawmakers take on a massive deficit with the promise of no new taxes.

The Washington Post
By: John Pomfret
January 19, 2011

ELGIN, ILL. - Ni Pin believes in the United States. He's lived here for almost 20 years. His three children were born here. And, unlike many Americans, he thinks that even in the middle of the Rust Belt, there's hope for manufacturing in this country.

The Washington Post
By: Caroline Baum
January 19, 2011

(Bloomberg) -- The pieces just don't add up.

The Huffington Post
January 18, 2011

This time last year, the Parkside-Kenilworth area in Washington D.C. mirrored struggling communities across the United States -- low-performing schools went hand-in-hand with high levels of crime and unemployment.

The Washington Post
By: Zachary A. Goldfarb
January 18, 2011

Federal officials took two steps Tuesday to attempt to reduce the likelihood of a second financial crisis caused in large part by large declines in the housing market.

The New York Times
By: David Leonhardt
January 19, 2011

Alone among the world's economic powers, the United States is suffering through a deep jobs slump that can't be explained by the rest of the economy's performance.

Poverty and Recovery

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
January 18, 2011

In 2008, the first year of the Great Recession, the number of Americans living in poverty rose by 1.7 million to nearly 47.5 million. While hugely painful, that rise wasn't surprising given the unraveling economy. What is surprising is that recent census data show that those poverty numbers held steady in 2009, even though job loss worsened significantly that year.

Obama Courts Business Support

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Elizabeth Williamson & Jonathan Weisman
January 19, 2011

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama formally ordered government agencies to review hundreds of federal regulations to ensure they aren't hampering business efforts to grow and hire, a move aimed at building support among employers and pre-empting Republican attacks.

Is College Worth It?

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Atlantic
By: Derek Thompson
January 18, 2011

Pushing for more college education won't reduce unemployment or cure the country's income inequality, Dan Indiviglio wrote in summarizing this paper by Lawrence Mishel of the Economics Policy Institute.

USA Today
By: Wendy Koch
January 17, 2011

Sandra Beer watched her neighbors in East Chatham, N.Y., devote copious time and sweat equity in building all or part of their homes.

The Atlantic
By: Daniel Indiviglio
January 17, 2011

Some people argue that education is the answer to some of the big current problems the U.S. economy faces. Want to fix the unemployment problem? That's easy: just provide additional educational opportunities for those having difficulty finding jobs. Want to lessen income inequality? That's easy too: if more people have college degrees, they'll qualify for higher wage work. While these arguments appear to make sense, looking at the data over the past several decades provides the opposite answer: more education would solve neither problem.

Dealing the cards

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Washington Post
By: Ylan Q. Mui
January 16, 2011

Uncle Sam wants you to have a prepaid card, and he's not the only one.

NPR
By: Katrina vanden Heuvel
January 18, 2011

Katrina vanden Heuvel is the editor and publisher of The Nation. She is a frequent commentator on MSNBC, CNN and PBS.

"There is definitely a story going untold," says Melissa Boteach, manager of Half in Ten, a national campaign to reduce poverty by 50 percent over the next 10 years. "When you have 1 in 7 Americans living in poverty. 1 in 5 children living in poverty -- including 1 in 3 African-American children and Latino children -- and it's not on America's radar, something's very wrong."

The Washington Post
By: Krissah Thompson
January 17, 2011

Two decades ago, 22 black leaders gathered for a retreat on farmland in rural Tennessee once owned by writer Alex Haley. The reason for the gathering, which included historian John Hope Franklin and civil rights matriarch Dorothy Height, was to address growing rates of poverty among black children.

When It's Time to Take On Help

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
January 16, 2011

After six months of running a marketing-services business on her own, Julie Ladd reached a breaking point.

Smart Money
By: Alyssa Abkowitz
January 14, 2011

For homeowners concerned that Congress may throw the mortgage interest deduction out the window, a powerful industry group may come to their rescue: home builders.

Fed Labors to Get Its Message Out

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sudeep Reddy
January 18, 2011

Federal Reserve officials, who meet next week to ponder monetary policy, have signaled they aim to stick with Chairman Ben Bernanke's plan to buy $600 billion in long-term U.S. Treasury bonds. But they are struggling to find a coherent way to explain that--and other touchy issues they face in coming months--to the public.

USNEWS.com
By: Kimberly Palmer
January 12, 2011

For decades, parents have dutifully paid allowances to their children, often in exchange for chores around the house. Most of the time, they probably think that they're passing on the value of hard work and teaching valuable lessons on how to save and spend. It turns out they're mistaken.

The Huffington Post
By: Laura Bassett
January 13, 2011

After being laid off from his management job at a sailboat manufacturer in Marion, S.C., David Markham and his wife Cheryl lost their house, their car, and their health insurance. But what hurt them the most, Markham told HuffPost, was having to put all their belongings in storage, trek 900 miles across the country and move in with their adult son and daughter in East Lansing, Mich.

The Huffington Post
By: Ryan Grim
January 13, 2011

Less than ten percent of the nation's 38 million elderly people are living in poverty, according to the official statistics. But once medical care and other costs of living are factored in, the number of people 65 and older living in poverty jumps to 16.1 percent, according to a new Census Bureau analysis.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery
January 13, 2011

President Obama's refusal to raise taxes for the vast majority of Americans will prevent him from pursuing a broad overhaul of the tax code and is making it difficult for him to achieve his goals for reducing the budget deficit, according to administration and congressional sources.

The Washington Post
By: Annys Shin
January 14, 2011

Five years ago, an automated voice on the phone would not have reduced Sondi Moore to tears. But five years ago, she was not behind on her electric bill.

The New York Times
By: William Neuman
January 13, 2011

Seeking to buoy a strained rural economy in the midst of the recession, Congress ordered up a huge increase in federal mortgage guarantees for small-town home buyers as part of the 2009 economic stimulus package.

The Wall Street Journal
By: John D. Mckinnon
January 14, 2011

The drive to revamp corporate tax rules kicks off in earnest on Friday, when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sits down with executives of more than a dozen major U.S. companies.

Economists Optimistic on Growth

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)


The Wall Street Journal
By: Phil Izzo
January 14, 2011

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal are increasingly optimistic about the pace of the recovery, predicting the U.S. will grow at better than a 3.2% annual rate in each quarter this year.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)
January 12, 2011

With adultBasic, the low-cost health insurance program for Pennsylvania's working poor, set to run out of money soon, it appears the program's 41,000 subscribers will have to make alternative arrangements for health coverage -- or go without it -- starting Feb. 28.

Education Week
By: Caralee Adams
January 11, 2011

Students in a high school program that combines strong academics, demanding technical education, and real-world experience were more likely to go on to college than their peers, new research released in California today shows.

Education Week
By: Sharon Noguchi
January 10, 2011

As California crams more kids into classrooms, students are sitting in aisles and on windowsills. Fewer are paying attention and more are certain to be left behind. Teachers are spending more time lecturing and less time leading experiments and devising creative lessons.

Education Week
By: Alyson Klein
January 13, 2011

In its impact on state and local education budgets, the Great Recession of 2007-09 was like a vicious storm that swept across the landscape and left a broad--but far from uniform--trail of wreckage in its wake.

The Washington Post
By: Ariana Eunjung Cha & Dina ElBoghdady
January 12, 2011

The fight between big banks and investors who lost a fortune on mortgage-backed securities is shifting from private litigation to the public arena.

The Washington Post
By: Michelle Singletary
January 12, 2011

I wasn't naive enough to think that major credit card legislation passed in 2009 would stop lenders from going after young customers.

The New York Times
By: The Associated Press
January 12, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States economy ended last year on an encouraging note, with all parts of the country showing improvements, according to the latest Federal Reserve survey.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Rex Nutting
January 12, 2011

It's no wonder the recovery has been so anemic: The U.S. economy has been trying to run on one leg.

Audits Add Shine to Firms

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Angus Loten
January 13, 2011

Study Finds Certified Financial Statements Help Businesses' Loan Prospects

Small businesses whose books are audited--by a hired certified public accountant, not the Internal Revenue Service--improve their chances of getting a loan, and at far better terms, than businesses with less scrutinized financial statements, a new study shows.

The Wall Street Journal
By: David Reilly
January 13, 2011

In the old days, banks gave away toasters to lure checking-account customers. Now, at least one is offering a big-screen TV for taking foreclosed homes off its hands.

What's more, Sterling Savings Bank, a unit of Spokane, Wash.-based Sterling Financial, also will knock 4% off the purchase price, up to $20,000, for buyers who close by Feb. 15. While most lenders aren't going to such lengths, their holdings of distressed properties remain a burden, even with foreclosure activity slowing since the fall.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Nick Timiraos
January 13, 2011

Banks are sparring over looming U.S. mortgage-lending rules that could raise costs for millions of borrowers.

Tax Refunds Move to Debit Cards

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sudeep Reddy
January 12, 2011

WASHINGTON--The U.S. Treasury Department plans to launch a pilot program Thursday to deliver tax refunds through prepaid debit cards, an effort to cut the expense of paper checks and aid lower-income taxpayers who don't have bank accounts.

Illinois Braces for Tax Increases

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Douglas Belkin, Lauren Etter & Ilan Brat
January 13, 2011

Facing one of the biggest budget shortfalls of any state, Illinois took the risky step of jacking up income and corporate taxes even as its economy struggles to shake off the recession.

MSNBC
By: Janna Herron
January 13, 2011

First quarter of the year will likely show a rebound in foreclosure activity

NEW YORK -- The bleakest year in foreclosure crisis has only just begun.

The Herald-Sun (North Carolina)
By: William Schweke
January 4 2011

North Carolina, like most American states, faces a tough funding future. The state has a large budget shortfall, which it is legally required to close. Hard choices are on the horizon -- significant cuts in services and programs and possibly tax and fee hikes. Fortunately, state leaders can and ought to take steps to make a difference.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jon Hilsenrath
January 12, 2011

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke appears to have support from other Fed officials to continue his $600 billion bond-buying program when they convene for their next policy meeting on January 26-27.

Illinois House Passes Tax Increase

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Lauren Etter and Douglas Belkin
January 12, 2011

The Illinois House passed a massive income-tax increase to help the state dig out of a $13 billion deficit, despite opposition from Republicans and business groups.

A 'New Type of Gift Card'

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

American Banker
By: Sean Sposito
January 12, 2011

GoalPacks for underinvested start at $25

Just as prepaid cards helped sell banklike services to the underbanked, an investment manager is planning to use similar cards to sell its products to the underinvested.

Education Week
By: Vicki L. Phillips
January 11, 2011

Last month, as the result of the District-Charter Collaboration Compact sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, nine cities from across the country came together to commit to overcoming one of the most persistent divides in public education and accelerate progress for all of our students: public charter schools vs. traditional public schools.

NPR
By: Alix Spiegel
January 10, 2011

In the mid-1960s, Betty Hart was a graduate student in child development working at a preschool in Kansas City, Kan. The preschool was for poor kids -- really poor kids. Many came from troubled housing projects nearby.

The New York Times
By: Jackie Calmes
January 7, 2011

WASHINGTON -- President Obama went to a busy window-manufacturing plant near here on Friday to promote his economic policies and his new team of advisers as the monthly jobs report reflected only modest employment growth.

The Boston Globe
By: Jennifer B. McKim
January 11, 2011

Job losses, slow economy plague many outside cities

ASHBURNHAM -- Jennifer and Brian Law are caught up in a new wave of suburban and rural home foreclosures, far from the low-income city neighborhoods where the crisis began.

Fed Official Questions Bond Program

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Time
By: Jeannine Aversa
January 11, 2011

(WASHINGTON) -- A member of the Federal Reserve's policymaking committee suggested Tuesday that the Fed may need to scale back its $600 billion Treasury bond-buying program if the economy grows more quickly than expected.

The New York Times
By: Sharon Otterman
January 10, 2011

Sixty children in a first-grade class can get loud -- sometimes too loud for a teacher to explain a lesson.

Chicago Daily Herald
By: Marie Wilson
January 10, 2011

Angel Corral is looking to buy a home in Aurora.

Still Renting After All These Years

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: M.P. Mcqueen
January 8, 2011

The Trend Toward Rentals Shows No Signs of Easing--Even Among Those Who Could Easily Afford to Buy a Home.

Mortgage rates are near historic lows and homes are more affordable than they have been in memory. Yet some five years after the housing bust began, many people who could easily afford to buy are still choosing to rent.

Dailyrecord.com
By: Betty Beard
January 9, 2011

America's middle class has never been easy to define, measure or study. It's loosely seen as those falling between the impoverished and the rich, the vast group that makes enough money to aspire to the American dream.

CNBC
By: Reuters
January 7, 2011

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sketched a more optimistic view of the economy Friday but said the Fed's $600 billion bond-buying program is needed because unemployment will likely stay elevated for up to five more years.

In College, Learning About Money

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Ron Lieber
January 8, 2011

One of the more difficult questions of the mortgage collapse was just how much blame individuals should take for signing up for loans they didn't understand.

CBS Moneywatch.com
By: Dan Kadlec
January 10, 2011

Student debt in America has surged past $1 trillion, surpassing credit card borrowing and promising to turn out the most hocked generation of college graduates in history.

The Washington Post
By: Ylan Q. Mui
January 10, 2011

As a key piece of President Obama's signature tax-cut package begins boosting paychecks this month, American workers will confront a critical question that could determine the pace of country's economic recovery: Spend or save?

Fed Chief Gets a Likely Backer

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: Jon Hilsenrath
January 10, 2011

With Minneapolis President, Bernanke Looks to Have Majority for Bond Buying.

Narayana Kocherlakota gets his first crack at voting at Federal Reserve policy meetings later this month, and the wonky former academic said he is likely to support the Fed's controversial $600 billion bond-buying program.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery & Brady Dennis
January 8, 2010

With the economy shifting from crisis to recovery, President Obama completed an overhaul of his economic team Friday that relies heavily on veterans of the Clinton administration to wage the coming battle with Republicans over spending, taxes and government's role in society.

The Washington Post
By: Kenneth R. Harney
January 7, 2011

Here's mortgage giant Fannie Mae's sobering New Year's greeting for home buyers and refinancers in 2011: Give me more money. If you want a loan this year, you're going to have to pay more - thousands of dollars more in some cases - even if you have stellar credit scores and bundles of cash handy for a down payment. Things could get much worse if your scores have been sagging with the economy and you don't have much money up front.

NPR
By: Natalie Hopkinson
January 6, 2011

Natalie Hopkinson is a fellow of the Interactivity Foundation and the co-author of Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation.

Obama to bolster economic team

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

CNNMoney.com
January 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- President Obama will announce key members of his economic team Friday as the administration tries to nudge the U.S. economy into a higher gear, a White House official said.

The Washington Post
By: Neil Irwin
January 7, 2011

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke laid out a dire scenario on Friday of what could happen to the U.S. economy if the government cannot develop a plan to bring down the budget deficit in the years ahead, even as he said that the economic recovery appears to be gaining momentum.

Bloomberg
By: John Hechinger
January 6, 2011

The schools leave students more indebted than conventional colleges

Ronnie Franklin borrowed to pay his tuition at a for-profit college that advertised its success in preparing graduates for better jobs. The decision still haunts him. Despite graduating from RETS Technical Center in Boston in 2000, he found himself so strapped for money that he and his two sons lived in a homeless shelter last year. Frustrated that his degree didn't lead to work in electronics, Franklin--now a $12-an-hour housepainter--decided to go to a community college this year. He can't qualify for a federal grant that would pay the cost because he has defaulted on $20,000 of his earlier U.S. student loans.

MSNBC
January 7, 2011

Nation's unemployment rate falls to 9.4 percent -- lowest since May 2009

WASHINGTON -- Businesses stepped up hiring in December, adding a net total of 103,000 jobs during the month and offering a little hope for a sustained improvement in the struggling U.S. jobs market.

The Washington Post
By: Simone Baribeau & James Rowley
January 7, 2011

Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Congressman Paul Ryan, the Budget Committee chairman in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Republicans don't intend to save states from debt defaults.

The New York Times
By: Kim Severson
January 6, 2011

ATHENS, Ga. -- Students here at the University of Georgia have a name for some of the fancy cars parked in the lots around campus. They call them Hopemobiles. But there may soon be fewer of them.

The Washington Post
By: Eileen Aj Connelly
January 5, 2011

NEW YORK -- Bank of America is rolling out a pilot program in three states that will offer its customers menu of checking accounts with a variety of fee options.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta & Patrick O'Connor
January 7, 2011

The White House and congressional Republicans clashed Thursday over raising the federal debt ceiling, setting up a showdown that will test how much either side is willing to budge on tax and spending issues.

The Washington Post
By: Eileen Aj Connelly
January 5, 2011

NEW YORK -- Bank of America is rolling out a pilot program in three states that will offer its customers menu of checking accounts with a variety of fee options.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Damian Paletta & Patrick O'Connor
January 7, 2011

The White House and congressional Republicans clashed Thursday over raising the federal debt ceiling, setting up a showdown that will test how much either side is willing to budge on tax and spending issues.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Elizabeth Williamson
January 7, 2011

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama put into overdrive Thursday his fledgling efforts to call a truce with American business.

Crain's Chicago Business
By: Paul Merrion
January 3, 2011

Federal agency targets underserved firms, aims to streamline process

In an effort to reach "underserved" startups, the U.S. Small Business Administration soon will allow community groups and other non-profit lenders to make federally guaranteed business loans.

Springfield News-Leader (Missouri)
By: Susan Atteberry Smith
January 3, 2011

As the new year begins, Cody and Clarissa Weter can say life was good in 2010.

The Washington Post
By: Michael A. Fletcher
January 5, 2011

The recession blew a huge hole in the already shaky finances of state governments, causing them to lose nearly one-third of their revenue in 2009, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery
January 5, 2011

After four years out of power, Republicans seized control of the House with gusto on Wednesday, adopting a passel of new rules designed to make it easier to keep their campaign promises to cut taxes, repeal President Obama's health-care law and slash government spending.

MSNBC
By: Hope Yen
January 5, 2011

1 in 6 Americans -- many of them 65 and older -- are struggling in poverty

WASHINGTON -- The number of poor people in the U.S. is millions higher than previously known, with 1 in 6 Americans -- many of them 65 and older -- struggling in poverty due to rising medical care and other costs, according to preliminary census figures released Wednesday.

The Houston Chronicle (Texas)
By: L.M. Sixel
January 5, 2011

On a positive note, most of us will be paying less in Social Security taxes this year.

Time
By: Zachary Karabell
January 6, 2011

You've read the good news. The official unemployment rate has leveled off. But that is like saying of a patient on life support that at least he isn't losing any more blood. Job creation still isn't what it should be, and the time it takes seekers to get a new job still hovers around a record 35 weeks. Back in February 2009, when President Obama unveiled the nearly $800 billion stimulus package, he said, "My economic-recovery plan ... will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years." Two years later, new jobs are few and far between.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Sarah E. Needleman, Emily Maltby & Angus Loten
January 6, 2011

After years of gloom, the clouds could lift a little for small businesses in 2011.

The Wall Street Journal
By: John D. McKinnon & Elizabeth Williamson
January 6, 2011

The White House and congressional Republicans are moving from different directions toward a consensus that the U.S. corporate tax code needs a fundamental overhaul, a goal high on corporate leaders' agenda.

MSNBC
By: Steven R. Hurst
January 5, 2011

Republicans take charge of House, ending 2 years of Democratic dominance

WASHINGTON -- With the ceremonial swearing in of the 112th Congress, Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives, promising a fierce challenge to President Barack Obama and the potential for legislative gridlock in the countdown to the 2012 presidential election.

The Deficit's Stubborn Facts

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Wall Street Journal
By: David Wessel
January 6, 2011

More than 20 years of covering debate, denial and distortion about the federal budget--from the often-maligned, though successful, deficit-reduction deal George H. W. Bush struck with Democrats in 1990, to the looming showdown over the federal debt ceiling--leaves a journalist frustrated. Protagonists and the public too often treat facts as annoying, irrelevant details.

The Washington Post
By: Paul Kane
January 5, 2011

Almost as soon as they take control of the House at noon Wednesday, Republicans will embark on a 20-day plan aimed at undoing major aspects of President Obama's agenda as they seek to take advantage of the weeks before the Senate's return and the president's State of the Union address.

Dollars & Sense
By John Miller & Jeannette Wicks-Lim
January 5, 2011

Politicians and economists are trying to reframe a severe jobs crunch as a problem of workers' inadequate skills.

Millions of Americans remain unemployed nearly a year and a half after the official end-date of the Great Recession, and the nation's official unemployment rate continues at nearly 10%.

Education Week
By: Sean Cavanagh
January 4, 2011

Despite bleak fiscal conditions that could thwart some of their priorities, governors and state lawmakers--bolstered in some cases by new Republican majorities--are expected to press forward this year with ambitious education proposals that could include changing teacher job protections and expanding school choice.

The Washington Post
By: Carol Morello
January 4, 2011

The Census Bureau took a baby step toward redefining what is considered poor in America on Tuesday when it released several alternative measurements of poverty, fundamentally revising a one-size-fits-all formula developed in the 1960s by a civil servant.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Luca Di Leo
January 5, 2011

Federal Reserve officials were unfazed by a rise in long-term interest rates at their December policy meeting, noting that rates were increasing partly because the U.S. economy was getting stronger, as they had hoped would happen, according to minutes of the meeting released Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Melissa Korn
January 4, 2011

Defaulting on federal student loans may not be such a bad thing--at least, not for the federal government.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)
By: Tim Grant
January 4, 2011

The high unemployment rate has dominated most of the headlines concerning the weak U.S. economy but another part of the story that doesn't get as much attention is the rising number of working poor who cannot make ends meet.

The Washington Post
By: Colbert I. King
January 1, 2011

If experience, maturity and leadership abilities are key ingredients in the makeup of a good mayor, then the most qualified person to lead the District will take the oath of office tomorrow. Vince Gray - a 68-year-old native Washingtonian, product of public schools, George Washington University graduate, nonprofit-sector executive and D.C. Council chairman - has just about seen and done it all.

Why 7.7% of Americans Are Unbanked

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Forbes
By: Tim Chen
January 3, 2011

If you're not a banker, you may never have heard of the term "unbanked." It refers to an individual or a household without a checking or savings account. According to a general national survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 2009, 7.7% of American households were estimated not to have a bank account. That is about 1 out of every 13 households, according to the NYTimes. The most commonly stated reason not to have a bank account, chosen by 37.1% of unbanked households, was that they did not have enough money to need an account.

The New York Times
By: Jackie Calmes
January 3, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The incoming Republican majority in the House is moving to make good on its promise to cut $100 billion from domestic spending this year, a goal eagerly backed by conservatives but one carrying substantial political and economic risks.

The Huffington Post
By: Amy Lee
December 30, 2010

For affluent Americans outraged by the fiscal and social consequences of tax cuts handed to them by President George W. Bush and recently extended for two more years, a trio of similarly dismayed academics has furnished a way for them to put their money where their mouth is.

Equality, a True Soul Food

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The New York Times
By: Nicholas D. Kristof
January 1, 2011

John Steinbeck observed that "a sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ."

The Huffington Post
By: Sarah Walzer
December 28, 2010

There has been much talk in the media recently about our failure as a nation to bridge the achievement gap. The gap continues to be gapingly large whether we look at school readiness, fourth grade reading scores or high school graduation rates. The inability of educators, policymakers, and a host of school reform efforts to ensure that low-income and minority children succeed in school, and graduate from high school, should lead us to consider whether we need to think outside the classroom as we struggle to improve educational outcomes for the country and for each individual child.

NPR
By: Larry Abramson

The past decade or so has seen explosive growth in the number of social entrepreneurs -- innovators who take a business-like approach to solving social problems. NPR is profiling a number of these people this year.

MSNBC
By: Bob Christie
December 27, 2010

Lenders selling at a loss, or giving them away, to be rehabbed and resold

PHOENIX -- Francisco and Pam Cruz maneuvered around boxes of new flooring and open cans of paint as they surveyed the foreclosed Phoenix house they would soon call their own.

The upward mobility gap

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Los Angeles Times
By: Doyle McManus
January 2, 2011

College-educated Americans live in a different country than high school dropouts. The best way to mend the divide is by providing access to a decent education.

Here's a familiar fact: Economic inequality is rising in the United States. The rich have gotten richer, the poor have stayed poor, and families in the middle have seen their incomes stagnate.

The Associated Press
December 31, 2010

DENVER (AP) -- It will be a happier New Year for nearly 650,000 workers earning minimum wage. They're getting small raises in seven states that tie their salaries to the cost of living.

The Washington Post
By: Nick Anderson
January 1, 2011

IN GRASONVILLE, MD. With fingers and pencils, Destiny Wallace-Jenkins and Aiden Priest took turns prompting each other to pronounce what they saw on the page. K-i-n-g - king. S-l-a-m - slam.

The New York Times
By: Catherine Rampell
December 31, 2010

Even the lucky ones are not so lucky, it seems.

A new study of American workers displaced by the recession sheds light on the sacrifices a large number have made to find work. Many, it turns out, had to switch careers and significantly reduce their living standards.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.