August 2011 Archives

The Huffington Post
By: Peter S. Goodman
August 31, 2011

If anyone in America could plausibly claim immunity to the unemployment crisis, Joe Sangataldo figured to be the guy. He earned his wages at a county social services center in southern New Jersey, where he helped jobless welfare recipients try to find work. In a nation beset by relentless decline, here was a rare growth industry, one with staying power.

Public News Service (Colorado)
By: Mary Kuhlman
August 31, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Some Ohio children are learning that the building blocks of financial literacy go beyond putting pennies in a piggy bank.

The New Resentment of the Poor

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The New York Times
August 30, 2011

In a decade of frenzied tax-cutting for the rich, the Republican Party just happened to lower tax rates for the poor, as well. Now several of the party's most prominent presidential candidates and lawmakers want to correct that oversight and raise taxes on the poor and the working class, while protecting the rich, of course.

Bank of Political Works

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The Wall Street Journal
August 31, 2011

A Fannie Mae for 'infrastructure.

Here's a novel idea: Have Congress create a "bank" that could borrow huge sums with only a small federal outlay and would be independent of any political interference. If you believe in this miracle, you probably thought Fannie Mae was a private company that wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime.

A Philanthropic Recession

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The New York Times
By: Ben Protess & Kevin Roose
August 31, 2011

Operation Hope built a nonprofit powerhouse over the last decade, spinning a stockpile of donations from Wall Street firms into 27 financial education centers across the country.


The Washington Post
By: Brad Plumer & Ezra Klein
August 30, 2011

The most powerful man in housing policy today isn't President Obama. It's not Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner or House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.). It's a little-known bureaucrat named Edward DeMarco.

The Gainesville Sun (Florida)
By: Jackie Alexander
August 29, 2011

Program works to close the achievement gap with peer support.


The Washington Post
By: Zachary A. Goldfarb & Peter Wallsten
August 29, 2011

The White House scrambled Monday to finalize a new jobs initiative as President Obama nominated the last member of the economic team that will be charged with carrying it out.

The Washington Post
By: Eli Saslow
August 29, 2011

German Morales dressed for work in tattered painter's jeans and a stained white T-shirt, even though he didn't know when or whether he would paint again.

Bloomberg Businessweek
By: Mike Dorning
August 28, 2011

As women saw workplace gains in recent decades, men's prospects have diminished

-As President Barack Obama puts together a new jobs plan to be revealed shortly after Labor Day, he is up against a powerful force, long in the making, that has gone virtually unnoticed in the debate over how to put people back to work: Employers are increasingly giving up on the American man.

The New York Times
By: Eric Dash
August 28, 2011

Battered by a weak economy, the nation's biggest banks are cutting jobs, consolidating businesses and scrambling for new sources of income in anticipation of a fundamentally altered financial landscape requiring leaner operations.

NPR
By: Marilyn Geewax
August 28, 2011

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to release its latest update on the food stamp program. It's an important indicator of the nation's economic health -- and the prognosis is not good.

Smart Money
By: Annamaria Andriotis
August 29, 2011

Many boomers are reevaluating how much they can put toward a kid's education.

As Zack Zbar gets ready to apply to colleges this fall, his parents have established one important ground rule. Jeff, a Florida writer, and his wife Robbie, a nurse practitioner, would like to send their son to the best college he can get into, but they don't intend to go into debt to make that happen. They'll look for grants and scholarships, or they'll turn to an in-state option. "If we can't afford it, then we have some reckoning to do," says Jeff, 47.

Chicago Tribune
By: Cynthia Dizikes
August 28, 2011

Ryan Evans perused the shelves of a toy department, grappling with one of the biggest financial decisions of his life: pay $24.99 for a rapid-fire Nerf gun or keep saving for a Star Wars Lego set.

The New York Times
By: Nicholas D. Kristof
August, 27, 2011

WHEN I'm in New York or Washington, people talk passionately about debt and political battles. But in the living rooms or on the front porches here in Yamhill, Ore., where I grew up, a different specter wakes friends up in the middle of the night.

NPR
By: Alex Kellogg
August 24, 2011

When Clyde Jackson's wife took a $6 hourly pay cut several years ago, it was the beginning of his rapid descent from two-time homeowner to renter in an apartment complex in the working-class Washington, D.C., suburb of Greenbelt, Md.

The Huffington Post
By: Gloria Bonilla Santiago
August 24, 2011

Education -- most especially pre-school programs which have been on budget chopping blocks throughout the country -- is inextricably tied to the recovery of our nation's economy.

A Lifeline for Homeowners

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The New York Times
August 25, 2011

Help may finally be on the way for borrowers stuck in high-interest-rate mortgages. Shaila Dewan and Louise Story reported in The Times that the White House is considering a proposal that would ease refinancings for millions of underwater homeowners whose loans are owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage companies.

The New York Times
By: Sabrina Tavernise
August 25, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Hispanics in the United States have registered significant gains in education, with college enrollment among young Hispanics up by 24 percent from 2009 to 2010, a new report shows.

Buffett Bets $5 Billion on BofA

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Dan Fitzpatrick
August 26, 2011

Investment Boosts Stock and Confidence in Bank, But Comes at Steep Price.

Bank of America Corp. said it will get a $5 billion infusion from Warren Buffett, giving the nation's biggest bank a desperately needed jolt of confidence at a time when investors are questioning its health.

Welfare Reform: The Downside

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The Atlantic
By: Megan McArdle
August 24, 2011

So yesterday I discussed whether welfare reform "worked". It certainly caused a lot of people to move into work, where they were eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit and for advancement to better positions. It caused the structural poverty rate to fall.


Achievement Gap Persists

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Vauhini Vara
August 25, 2011

Affluent Los Altos is home to some of the best public schools in the state, but the district serving most of the town has larger gaps in math scores between fourth-graders of different income levels than any other in the Bay Area.

The Huffington Post
By: Larry Womack
August 24, 2011

There's a novel idea being championed by Republicans this month. Everyone, from Mitt Romney to Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, seems to believe that the problem with the tax system is not that the very rich get off too easy, but that the very poor do. In fact, Republicans in Congress sound pretty eager to see payroll taxes on working Americans rise again in January.

The New York Times
August 25, 2011

Started in January, Learning Counts is a project of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, the American Council on Education and the College Board, in which older students take an online course that teaches them to prepare a portfolio that shows what they have learned from work and life experience. The portfolios -- one for each subject area in which they are seeking credit -- are then submitted to an outside evaluator, who decides whether they should get academic credit.

The New York Times
By: Shaila Dewan & Louise Story
August 24, 2011

The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high: plans must help a broad swath of homeowners, stimulate the economy and cost next to nothing.

A Dream Anew

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The Huffington Post
By: Cory Booker
August 24, 2011

Last week, I was in Atlanta for a day. I went directly from the airport to meet Congressman John Lewis at the King Center, where he and I were to be filmed for a program that Henry Lewis Gates is putting together about our ancestry. As I juggled cell phones dealing with urgencies back in Newark, I approached the visitor's center and instantly felt that I was upon hallowed ground. Amidst greeting producers, the cameraman, museum staff and others, I gathered the gravity of the moment. I stood on sacred soil, in a hall of historic memory across from the legendary Ebenezer Baptist Church, and feet away from Dr. King's final resting place. And I stood, waiting for Congressman John Lewis, a true American hero -- one of my heroes.

Boston Globe
By: Candice Choi
August 24, 2011

Payday loans may be coming to a bank near you. They're marketed under a different name, but a handful of major banks already let customers borrow against their paychecks, for a fee. And there are signs the option may soon become more widely available.

America Magazine (New York)
By: Kevin Clarke
August 23, 2011

The Anne E. Casey Foundation released their "2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book" today, and it did not make for encouraging reading. According to the report, after showing dramatic improvement between 1996 and 2000, the condition of America's children has been in a significant decline since 2000.

Daily Finance
By: Sheryl Nance-Nash
August 22, 2011

When students drop out of college, it's not just disappointing for them and their parents -- it's also bad news for Uncle Sam, and even for their next-door neighbors.

The GOP's tax increase

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The Washington Post
By: Harold Meyerson
August 24, 2011

America's presumably anti-tax party wants to raise your taxes. Come January, the Republicans plan to raise the taxes of anyone who earns $50,000 a year by $1,000, and anyone who makes $100,000 by $2,000.


The Huffington Post
By: David A. Love
August 22, 2011

When the housing bubble burst, the resulting foreclosure crisis was a disaster for black and Latino families, who lost 53 percent and 66 percent of their median household wealth, respectively, between 2005 and 2009. As a result, the racial wealth gap is widening, with white households enjoying 18 times as much wealth as their Latino counterparts, and 20 times more than African-American households.

The Huffington Post
By: Trymaine Lee
August 22, 2011

After more than a century of delivering financial resources to underserved communities, black-owned banks are struggling to remain relevant -- and solvent -- in an economic environment full of pitfalls.


The Huffington Post
By: Janell Ross
August 23, 2011

Sasha Mandel says she never imagined going on welfare. But her plans for a career and the independence she craved ran headlong into a pair of unforeseen developments -- an unplanned pregnancy at 18, and the worst job market since the Great Depression.

The Washington Post
By Bradley Keoun & Phil Kuntz
August 22, 2011

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

Head of S&P to Resign

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Jeannette Neumann
August 23, 2011

Ratings Firm Says Sharma Exit, for Year-End, in Works Before U.S. Downgrade.

Standard & Poor's President Deven Sharma is leaving the credit-rating firm at the end of the year, the company said Monday night.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Laura Meckler
August 23, 2011

The Obama administration will release final plans Tuesday for ending or cutting back hundreds of regulations, an effort to reduce the burden on business and counter criticism that the White House is tone-deaf to business concerns.

Too Good to Fail

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Stanford Social Innovation Review
By: James E. Post & Fiona S. Wilson
Fall 2011

In August 2010 the US government closed ShoreBank, one of the country's leading social enterprises. Why did ShoreBank fail? And what lessons can be learned from its 37-year record of innovation?

On Aug. 20, 2010, the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation closed ShoreBank, the nation's first and leading community bank, and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. The closure was not unexpected. Reports of the bank's problems--and a potential rescue--had been circulating for months. But the closure brought to a bitter end an iconic example of progressive social enterprise.

The Hidden Costs of Higher Ed

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The New York Times
By: Noah S. Bernstein
August 21, 2011

OVER the next few weeks, millions of Americans will be heading off to college, and despite the promise of need-blind admissions, more of them than ever will be struggling to pay for it. It's not just the economy's fault: even as they publicize lavish financial aid packages, colleges and universities are making it harder for average American families to afford higher education, while making it easier for the wealthy.

Homeowners Need Help

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The New York Times
August 21, 2011

Neither Congress, nor federal regulators, nor state or federal prosecutors have yet to conduct a thorough investigation into the mortgage bubble and financial bust. We welcomed the news that the Justice Department is investigating allegations that Standard & Poor's purposely overrated toxic mortgage securities in the years before the bust. We hope the investigative circle will widen.

The Washington Post
By: Robert Samuels
August 22, 2011

Nina Smith, a 16-year-old student at Parkdale High School, spent the summer learning all the tips on how to handle money. Tip one: Count it accurately. Tip two: Save it wisely. Tip three: No jokes when giving it away.

The New York Times
Corner Office: Terri Ludwig
By: Adam Bryant
August 20, 2011

This interview with Terri Ludwig, president and chief executive of Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit housing finance organization, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.

Corner Office

Q. Do you remember the first time you were somebody's boss?

The Huffington Post
By: Curtis M. Wong
August 18, 2011

Scott Miller wants to eradicate poverty in America by working with one financially struggling family at a time.

NPR
By: Bill Chappell
August 17, 2011

Only 1 in 4 U.S. high school graduates who took the 2011 ACT college entrance exam scored high enough to be deemed ready for college-level courses in all four of the test's subject areas, according to the company that designs the tests.

NPR
By: Pam Fessler
August 19, 2011

Monday marks 15 years since President Clinton signed an overhaul of the nation's welfare system into law. The president said the measure wasn't perfect, but provided a historic opportunity to fix a system that didn't work.

The New York Times
By: Nelson D. Schwartz
August 19, 2011

Bank of America is set to eliminate at least 3,500 jobs in the coming months, as the beleaguered financial giant seeks to cut costs and restructure amid deepening shareholder dissatisfaction.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Katie Glueck
August 19, 2011

Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law School professor who took the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from concept to creation, took an important step Thursday toward challenging Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, a key 2012 race as Democrats try to keep control of the Senate.

The minimum-wage solution

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Chicago Tribune
By: Michael Saltsman
August 19, 2011

We need jobs.

NPR
By: Jenny Gold
August 18, 2011

To those who believe the federal Supplemental Security Income program for severely disabled children is a lifesaver and not a boondoggle, Hulston Poe is a great example.

Education Week
By: Caralee J. Adams
August 18, 2011

Going to college was no easy feat for Abdirahman Hassan. In 2004, the then-12-year-old moved to the United States from Somalia with his brother and aunt. No one in his family had gone to college. Working two jobs to make ends meet, his aunt had no extra money for tuition.

The Washington Post
By: Zachary A. Goldfarb & Peter Wallsten
August 17, 2011

ALPHA, Ill. -- President Obama has decided to press Congress for a new round of stimulus spending and tax cuts as he seeks to address the great domestic policy quandary of his tenure: how to spur job growth in an age of austerity.

The Lure of Cash Advances

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Angus Loten
August 18, 2011

Facing weak sales and tight credit, some store and restaurant owners are turning to high-cost merchant cash advances for working capital, driving growth in a lightly regulated sector.

Smart Money
By: Annamaria Andriotis
August 17, 2011

Now borrowers can swap the potential for higher rates later with the certainty of higher rates now

The Huffington Post
By: Nathan Newman
August 16, 2011

This summer, Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) opened its doors for business (unfortunately sans Elizabeth Warren) and one of its first orders of business is developing rules for regulating the activities of "non-banks" that still potentially impact the financial well-being of consumers.


White Picket Fence? Not So Fast

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The New York Times
By: Viral V. Acharya, Matthew P. Richardson, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh and Lawrence J. White
August 17, 2011

Viral V. Acharya, Matthew P. Richardson, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh and Lawrence J. White are professors at the New York University Stern School of Business and the authors of ''Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance.''

THE United States spends more than $100 billion annually to subsidize homeowners. Renters get no breaks; homeowners get tons of them. Their mortgage rates are subsidized through the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac they get a big deduction on federal income taxes for mortgage interest payments and for state and local property taxes; and they even get favored treatment on capital gains from the sales of primary residences.

NPR
By: Erin Toner
August 16, 2011

As the country continues to dig out of the recession, many small businesses are still having trouble getting back on their feet. That's in part because most banks severely tightened lending to small firms.

The Washington Post
By: Zachary A. Goldfarb
August 15, 2011

President Obama has directed a small team of advisers to develop a proposal that would keep the government playing a major role in the nation's mortgage market, extending a federal loan subsidy for most home buyers, according to people familiar with the matter.

The New York Times
By: David Kocieniewski
August 15, 2011

With the budget deficit growing and tax rates at a 60-year low, one question will remain near the center of the political debate in the coming months: Should the federal government raise taxes on the rich?

Clarion Ledger (Mississippi)
By: Elizabeth Crisp
August 14, 2011

Children in three of Jackson's pre-kindergarten programs will have an opportunity to enroll this fall in an initiative that aims to get families to save money for college.

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich

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The New York Times
By: Warren E. Buffett
August 14, 2011

OUR leaders have asked for "shared sacrifice." But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.


The Wall Street Journal
By: John Bussey
August 12, 2011

Imagine a small airstrip where single-seat planes head down the runway, get 100 feet into the air and crash back to Earth, joining a heap of wreckage that grows by the day.

Wall Street Journal

Shrinking in a Bad Economy: America's Entrepreneur Class

By John Bussey

August 12, 2011

 

Imagine a small airstrip where single-seat planes head down the runway, get 100 feet into the air and crash back to Earth, joining a heap of wreckage that grows by the day.

 

You'd think this might discourage people deciding to become a pilot.

 

Salon

Income inequality is bad for rich people too

By Yves Smith

August 12, 2011

 

One of the major fights in the debt ceiling battle is how much top earners should contribute to efforts to close deficits. Australian economist John Quiggin makes an eloquent case as to why they need to pony up:

 

    My analysis is quite simple and follows the apocryphal statement attributed to Willie Sutton. The wealth that has accrued to those in the top 1 per cent of the US income distribution is so massive that any serious policy program must begin by clawing it back.

A recipe for decline

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Washington Post

A recipe for decline

By Michael Gerson

August 12, 2011

 

Orlando

 

It is strange to contemplate the end of the world from The Happiest Place on Earth. Wall Street may be littered with broken dreams, the streets of London may be in flames, but the streets of Walt Disney World are clean, flower-decked and relentlessly cheerful. The dollar is weak, the nation's credit questioned, but the state of the Disney brand is strong.

The Hijacked Crisis

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New York Times

The Hijacked Crisis

By Paul Krugman

August 11, 2011

 

Has market turmoil left you feeling afraid? Well, it should. Clearly, the economic crisis that began in 2008 is by no means over.

 

But there's another emotion you should feel: anger. For what we're seeing now is what happens when influential people exploit a crisis rather than try to solve it.

MarketWatch

Microcredit could be safer than a Treasury

By Thomas Kostigen

August 12, 2011

 

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) - Buy debt instruments in companies in the developing world. Here's why: people need to repay their loans, quite literally, to survive.

 

As stock markets around the world are turned into trampolines, there is solid and stable ground on which to stand and make steady returns in the credit markets - the microcredit markets.

New York Times

Pelosi Appoints 3 on Her Team to Complete the Deficit-Reduction Committee

By Robert Pear and Jennifer Steinhauer

August 11, 2011

 

WASHINGTON -- The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, rounded out the membership of a powerful new deficit-reduction panel on Thursday by appointing three of her top lieutenants who have led opposition to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Wall Street Journal

Tax Reform Is the Swiftest Path to Growth

Opinion by R. Glenn Hubbard

August 12, 2011

 

'What is tax reform?"

 

That's the Jeopardy-like question matching the answer: "The best step the government could take now to promote growth and employment." The Obama administration has been responding with "What are higher marginal tax rates and more stimulus?" But fundamental tax reform offers three key benefits.

A Push for More Loans

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Emily Maltby
August 11, 2011

Credit Unions Aim to Raise Lending Cap, Say Banks Aren't Doing Enough.

Credit unions have long sought permission from Congress to issue more business loans. Now, they hope the disappointing performance of the Treasury Department's small-business lending program will bolster their case.

Subsidies and Suspicion

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The New York Times
By: Jennifer Medina
August 10, 2011

LANCASTER, Calif. -- This city in the high desert, at the far northern edge of the Los Angeles sprawl, is filled with cozy cul-de-sacs, stucco homes, green lawns and gleaming sedans.


Center for American Progress
By: Desmond Brown
August 10, 2011

New York City Offers Testing Ground for Public-Private Partnerships

Providing a pathway for youth at risk of missing opportunities to succeed in our nation is an effective strategy to promote prosperity and break the cycle of poverty that occupies many communities across the United States. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week announced a new initiative that reinforces this philosophy of youth engagement. The effort aims to address the economic challenges facing young black and Latino males across New York's five boroughs.

The Hill
By: Drew Edwards
August 10, 2011

Banks have always talked about "banking the unbanked," however, what they meant was "how can (they) educate these consumers so they can become bankable." Banks have never been willing to change their product offerings to meet the real needs of this massive consumer group by adding services such as check cashing, money transfers, walk up bill payments, and now prepaid Visa/MC debit cards.

The St. Louis American
By: Darlene Green
August 11, 2011

The St. Louis region faces many socio-economic challenges that afflict our low- to moderate-income residents. Some of these challenges are new, others have persisted for decades. The availability of basic banking services in some of our poorest neighborhoods is among the challenges that hold our region back.

The Huffington Post
By: Joseph A. Palermo
August 10, 2011

Back in 1980, on the campaign trail Ronald Reagan repeated an apocryphal story about an individual who personified the undeserving poor. There was a woman in Chicago he called a "welfare queen" who "had eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards" and "collected veterans' benefits on four non-existent husbands." He said her tax-free income was "over $150,000". The tale became a motif indicting the failures of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society social programs. But when reporters scrutinized the case they could find only one woman in Chicago who had been convicted in 1977 of using two aliases to pick up welfare checks totaling about $8,000.

Can the Middle Class Be Saved?

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The Atlantic
By: Don Peck
September 2011

The Great Recession has accelerated the hollowing-out of the American middle class. And it has illuminated the widening divide between most of America and the super-rich. Both developments herald grave consequences. Here is how we can bridge the gap between us.

In October 2005, three Citigroup analysts released a report describing the pattern of growth in the U.S. economy. To really understand the future of the economy and the stock market, they wrote, you first needed to recognize that there was "no such animal as the U.S. consumer," and that concepts such as "average" consumer debt and "average" consumer spending were highly misleading.

The Washington Post
By: Neil Irwin
August 9, 2011

The stock market staged a dramatic rebound Tuesday, recording the biggest gains after the Federal Reserve announced it would keep its ultra-low interest rate policies in place for two more years.

Brookings Institute
By: Julia B. Isaacs
August 08, 2011

Those of us who follow child poverty are accustomed to bad news. Before the recession, one in five children in America was poor, placing our nation at the back of the pack internationally. The outlook for children has only grown worse during the recession. Over the past three years the number of children receiving nutrition assistance increased 50 percent and the number of children with an unemployed parent doubled, leading to fears of increased child poverty.

The Huffington Post
By: Tyler Kingkade
August 9, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Record borrowing by college students who are graduating without jobs may lead to the next financial crisis, according to a recent report by Moody's Analytics.

NPR
By: Hansi Lo Wang
August 9, 2011

The Labor Department's latest unemployment report offered a small sign of hope, with the nation's jobless rate dipping to 9.1 percent in July. But the new numbers also showed that teen unemployment is still on the rise, now at 25 percent.

How to Close the Skills Gap

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Mary L. Landrieu & Patty Murray
August 10, 2011

Small-business owners say that they have jobs but can't find qualified people

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. currently has approximately three million job openings, all waiting to be filled. With so many Americans out of work, what is the delay? Workers want to work, and so many businesses want to hire--but there is a widening "skills gap" that prevents many Americans from filling the jobs of the 21st century economy. If we want to get our economy back on track and get workers back on the job, we will have to address this issue in a better way.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Nick Timiraos
August 10, 2011

The Obama administration will announce plans Wednesday to seek investors' ideas for turning thousands of foreclosed properties owned by government-backed entities into rental homes, according to administration officials.

California Progress Report (CFED)
By: Paul Kleyman
August 9, 2011

In a dismal week when the most positive economic news for the United States was Friday's federal data showing anemic employment gains, the plight of ethnic elders looks "even worse than we thought it would be," according to Henoch Derbew, coauthor of a new report, "The Economic Crisis Facing Seniors of Color."

The Wall Street Journal
By: Suzanne Kapner, Robin Sidel & Dan Fitzpatrick
August 9, 2011

Banks Cut Interest Rates on Deposits as Cash Flows In; Some Borrowing Costs Are Expected to Rise.

Cash-strapped Americans are bracing for a further squeeze following last week's downgrade of U.S. government debt, as interest rates on deposits continue to fall and some borrowing costs edge higher.

Center for American Progress
By: Melissa Boteach
August 8, 2011

Debt Deal Cuts Programs that Enable Low-Income Americans to Climb Out of Poverty

This summer's protracted debate over how to raise the debt ceiling was a tough blow for struggling Americans on two fronts. First, the final deal includes cuts to services that will affect those hit hardest by the recession and slow an anemic recovery. Second, the deal distracted policymakers from the deficit that Americans are most concerned about: the jobs deficit.


The Huffington Post
By: Dr. Boyce Watkins
August 8, 2011

The recent release of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Black unemployment declined during the month of July. It had reached 16.2 percent and dropped over the course of the month to 15.9 percent. While the number is an improvement, it is still nearly double that of white Americans.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By: Suzanne Perry
August 4, 2011

The Social Innovation Fund, a federal program to help expand effective social projects, has awarded more than $46-million to 14 groups in its second round of annual grants, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced today.

Credit Union Times (New Jersey)
By: Myriam DiGiovanni
August 8, 2011

North Carolina Institution Featured in Virginia Biz School Study

Latino Community CU in Durham, N.C., was recently featured in the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and Tayloe Murphy Center study, "Perdido en la Traduccion: The Opportunity in Financial Services for Latinos," as a base model of the positive effects of mainstream financial services on the unbanked.

The New York Times
By: Menzie D. Chinn & Jeffry A. Frieden
August 8, 2011

THE Treasury can cry foul all it wants, but the decision by Standard & Poor's to downgrade America's credit rating by one notch last Friday, and the subsequent plunge in the stock market, are serious symptoms of a loss of confidence -- an assessment that is fundamentally political, not economic.

The Wall Street Journal
By: John Bussey
August 5, 2011

Small-business lending has been in trouble, but is there an explanation beyond the widespread perception that banks are denying credit, and starving small entrepreneurs?

New America Foundation
By: Terri Friedline
August 5, 2011

Click on the picture to view the table comparing Junior ISAs with other CDA policies Last week the United Kingdom's Treasury released details on Junior Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), which are designed to replace the Child Trust Fund (CTF). The CTF, which was in operation from 2005 to 2010, provided universal savings accounts to all newborns in the U.K. with progressive contributions for eligible account holders. Their replacement, Junior ISAs, will retain little of these same features when they become available on November 1, 2011, calling into question whether their features will benefit children from low-income backgrounds.


The Wall Street Journal
By: Nick Timiraos
August 8, 2011

Mortgage markets in the U.S., which remain on government life support, could be rattled by the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, potentially raising borrowing costs for consumers.

The Decade of Lost Children

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The New York Times
By: Charles M. Blow
August 5, 2011

One of the greatest casualties of the great recession may well be a decade of lost children.

USA Today
By: Christine Dugas
August 5, 2011

Older Americans of color are being financially squeezed as their earnings and savings drop and costs continue to rise, according to a report released today.

Newton Kansan
By: Chad Frey
August 4, 2011

There's a new way to save money, for those who qualify and are willing to designate what the savings are for. It's called an Individual Development Account, and the account system is getting off the ground locally through the Circle of Hope organization.

The Fayetteville Observer
By: Michael Futch,
August 4, 2011

The N.C. State Energy Office announced Wednesday a $1,500 rebate to homebuyers who purchase energy-efficient manufactured homes through the end of 2011.

CNNMoney
By: Les Christie
August 5, 2011

As the foreclosure crisis continues to wreak havoc on the housing market, a source of national pride has taken a sour turn. Home ownership is on the decline and, according to a recent Morgan Stanley report, the United States is fast becoming a nation of renters.

San Antonio Express
By: David Hendricks
August 5, 2011

San Antonio-based Accion Texas Inc., the nation's largest nonprofit microlender, is expanding its small-business lending program into six more states.

Learning To Live With Debt

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The New York Times
By: Floyd Norris
August 5, 2011

Debt can kill. But you can't live without it.

The Seattle Times
By: Tony Pugh
August 4, 2011

WASHINGTON Just as Social Security and Medicare benefits were dangled above the shredder in the debt-ceiling debate, another sacred cow could end up on the chopping block soon.

The New York Times
By: Darren Dahl
August 3, 2011

Few people start a business because they are good with numbers. In fact, the terms "accounting" and "financial analysis" tend to put business owners to sleep or send them screaming from the room. But to run a business effectively, most owners need to have some understanding of their finances.

Residents complete park purchase

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The Union Leader
Residents complete park purchase
By: Bill Regan
August 2, 2011

HOLDERNESS - Residents of Livermore Mobile Home Village, a 72-unit community in Holderness and Campton, closed July 20 on the purchase of their community, making it New Hampshire's 98th resident-owned manufactured housing community.

The New York Times
By: Michael Barbaro and Fernanda Santos
August 3, 2011

The administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in a blunt acknowledgment that thousands of young black and Latino men are cut off from New York's civic, educational and economic life, plans to spend nearly $130 million on far-reaching measures to improve their circumstances.

Credit Union Times
By: Myriam DiGiovanni
August 2, 2011

Hawaii First Federal Credit Union has teamed up with the Office for Hawaiian Affairs to help fuel economic empowerment among locals.

Contra Costa Times
By: Sharon Noguchi
August 2, 2011

It's an example of peer pressure at its best.

The Huffington Post
By: Joy Resmovits
August 2, 2011

Public schools around the country averted an immediate spending crisis when Congress voted Tuesday afternoon to pass an 11th-hour deal to raise the debt ceiling and prevent the government from defaulting on its loans.

The New York Times
By: Binyamin Appelbaum
August 2, 2011

WASHINGTON -- There is something you should know about the deal to cut federal spending that President Obama signed into law on Tuesday: It does not actually reduce federal spending.

USA Today
By: Sandra Block
August 3, 2011

Paul Trigili, an information technology professional in Las Vegas, is 65, has back problems and would like to retire at the end of the year. There's just one thing standing in his way: his house.

Minorities Plan Failing

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Jacob Gershman
August 1, 2011

A Bloomberg administration initiative intended to help minority- and women-owned companies secure more public contracts has steered little money to black-owned firms, according to city data.

The Huffington Post
By: Eleanor Goldberg
August 1, 2011

Though temperatures tipped 90 degrees on Sunday, Rose-Lynn Okongwu, 5, proudly modeled her new leopard-lined winter coat, a welcome reprieve from the boyish hand-me-downs she usually gets from her brother.

CNNMoney
By: Jennifer Liberto
August 1, 2011

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- Some students will have to start paying off their loans while they're in school under a last-minute debt ceiling deal to keep the country out of default and reduce deficits by at least $2.1 trillion over a decade.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By: Nicole Wallace
July 24, 2011

Foreclosure is more than just a private tragedy for individual homeowners. Foreclosed homes that sit vacant and neglected bring down housing prices nearby and become magnets for crime and vandalism, threatening the stability of entire neighborhoods.


The Washington Post
By: Carol Morello
August 2, 2011

Affluent blacks and Hispanics live in neighborhoods that are noticeably poorer than neighborhoods where low-income whites live, according to a new study that suggests income alone does not explain persistent segregation patterns in housing.


Uneasy House OK's Debt Deal

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Naftali Bendavid & John McKinnon
August 2, 2011

Both Parties Find Fault With Bill; Senate to Vote Tuesday

WASHINGTON--The House passed a $2.4 trillion debt-ceiling increase Monday night with the Senate planning to follow on Tuesday, after one of the most ferocious fights ever over government spending.

Chicago Tribune
By: Mary Ellen Podmolik
July 31, 2011

The Chicago area's ranking in a new study of home affordability looks promising, until you start to look at paychecks.


Ebony
By: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox
August 2011

NOBODY HAS TO TELL YOU HOW TOUGH it's been lately for many folks to get ahead. In fact, you probably have your own story to tell.

The New York Times
By: Campbell Robertson & Mary Williams Walsh
July 29, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A few hundred miles north of here, politicians are fighting over debt. It is a spirited debate, full of discussions about what kind of country will be left for future generations and pledges not to kick the can down the road.

The Destruction of Our Wealth

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The Huffington Post
By: Harlan Green
July 31, 2011

This is about making the case for a higher growth rate and greater prosperity, not the 'new normal,' post-recession slow growth malaise so many pundits are predicting. And it has little to do with cutting government spending, or the recent Great Recession, but everything to do with righting the tremendous inequality caused by current economic policies in place.

Leaders Agree on Debt Deal

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Naftali Bendavid & Carol E. Lee
August 1, 2011

Plan to Cut $2.4 Trillion in Spending, Avoid Default Fails to Resolve Fraught Issues.

WASHINGTON--After weeks of partisan wrangling, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders reached a deal Sunday night to raise the government's debt ceiling while cutting spending by about $2.4 trillion, avoiding a government default but setting the stage for months more of stormy debates over how Washington taxes and spends.

The Washington Post
By: Michelle Singletary
July 31, 2011

"Life for me ain't been no crystal stair."

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