October 2011 Archives

Back to school

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Laura Saunders
October 29, 2011

Back to school

It's application season, and not just for high-school and college seniors. The weak economy is also prompting older workers to return to school to refresh their skills or acquire new ones.

Herald-Times (Indiana)
By: Abby Tonsing
October 29, 2011

Young praises Head Start, but wants data on impact

After 9th District U.S. Rep. Todd Young toured the South Central Community Action Program's office and Head Start classrooms Friday afternoon, he asked officials for data on the measured success of how their programs have impacted lives.

Ever more homeless families

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The New York Times
October 30, 2011

Ever more homeless families

An increase in poverty and rising rents produced a spike in homelessness among families in recent years. With the economy still weak and 14 million people out of work, the situation is bound to get worse.

The Hill (CFED)
By: Robert Friedman
October 28, 2011

President's jobs bill is trailblazing policy for the real job creators

President Obama's jobs bill is getting a bad rap on several fronts, but none more undeserving than the claims that it penalizes job creators and contains nothing new or innovative.

Big banks blink on new card fees

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

Big banks blink on new card fees

A month after Bank of America got pummeled by consumers and politicians for introducing plans for new debit-card fees, most other big U.S. banks are steering clear of imposing similar charges.

Reuters
Lucia Mutikani and Jason Lange
October 28, 2011

September personal savings rate lowest since December 2007

Sluggish growth in U.S. consumer income in September led households to cut back on saving to increase their spending, casting doubts over the durability of the economy's third-quarter growth spurt.

The Washington Post
By: Peter Whoriskey
October 26, 2011

CBO: Incomes of top earners grow at a pace far faster than everyone else's

As Occupy Wall Street and related protests inject themselves into the 2012 presidential campaigns, a new government report shows that over the past three decades the incomes of the nation's top earners have grown far more rapidly than those of everyone else.

The New York Times
By: Ross Ramsey
October 27, 2011

When letting students slip away looks like a budget blessing

Every time a student drops out of public school, taxpayers save money. That's one fewer student, at a savings of more than $11,000 per year from state and local sources.

Teaching new customers old tricks

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American Banker
By: Laura Thompson Osuri
October 27, 2011

Teaching new customers old tricks

Some banks try to attract the unbanked and the underbanked with innovative products such as prepaid debit cards and mobile banking applications. United Bank in Atmore, Ala., has high hopes for the new technology, but in the meantime it's finding success in the underbanked market using a more traditional tool: checks.

The Atlantic
By: Esther Entin
October 26, 2011

Poverty and mental health: Can the two-way connection be broken?

When people are mentally ill, they suffer social stigma, have higher health costs, and are at an increased risk of becoming poor.

People who live in poverty are at increased risk of mental illness compared to their economically stable peers. Their lives are stressful. They are both witness to and victims of more violence and trauma than those who are reasonably well off, and they are at high risk of poor general health and malnutrition. The converse is also true: When people are mentally ill, they are at increased risk of becoming and/or staying poor. They have higher health costs, difficulty getting and retaining jobs, are less productive at work, and suffer the social stigma and isolation of mental illness.

The National Digital Literacy Corps

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The Huffington Post
By: Daniel Kent
October 26, 2011

The National Digital Literacy Corps

One hundred million Americans do not have high speed Internet at home, and 18 million Americans live in areas with little or no broadband infrastructure. Most Americans who are offline have the ability to connect to broadband; but they choose not to do so.

The New York Times
By: Michael Cooper and Allison Kopicki
October 26, 2011

Facing hardship, jobless still say they have hope

The nation's lingering unemployment crisis has forced many people without work to dip into their savings, borrow from relatives and do without necessities including health insurance, and most people who receive unemployment benefits said that the money was not enough to meet their basic needs, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll of jobless Americans.

Income inequality was constructed

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Policy Shop
By: Michael Lipsky
October 21, 2011

Income inequality was constructed

What are people angry about? In a series of 41 well-chosen slides making the rounds on the internet, financial analyst Henry Blodgett graphically demonstrates the distortions in the distribution of income, the dimensions of the unemployment problem, and various indicators of the concentration of wealth in America. Although there's little new in these data, the conciseness of the material is extremely valuable.

The Nation
By: Glenn Greenwald
October 25, 2011

How the rich subverted the legal system and occupy Wall Street swept the land

As intense protests spawned by Occupy Wall Street continue to grow, it is worth asking: Why now? The answer is not obvious. After all, severe income and wealth inequality have long plagued the United States. In fact, it could reasonably be claimed that this form of inequality is part of the design of the American founding--indeed, an integral part of it.

The New York Times
By: Robert Pear
October 25, 2011

Top earners doubled share of nation's income, study finds

Washington -- The top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation's income over the last three decades, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, in a new report likely to figure prominently in the escalating political fight over how to revive the economy, create jobs and lower the federal debt.

Western Farm Press
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
October 25, 2011

Beginning Farmer Act sets path for future of U.S. agriculture

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011 [H.R. 3236] addresses many of the barriers that new agriculture entrepreneurs face such as limited access to land and markets, hyper land price inflation, high input costs, and a lack of sufficient support networks.

The New York Times
By: Tamar Lewin
October 25, 2011

President to ease student loan burden for low-income graduates

President Obama will announce new programs Wednesday to lower monthly loan payments for some students graduating next year and thereafter and to let borrowers who have a mix of direct federal loans and loans under the old Federal Family Education Loan Program consolidate them at a slightly lower interest rate.

Poverty & Race
By: Gregory D. Squires and John I. Gilderbloom
October 2011

Speculators, not CRA, behind foreclosures in black neighborhoods

Foreclosures continue to decimate communities around the nation, with black neighborhoods being the hardest hit. Some pundits and politicians point to federal policies that encouraged homeownership in low- and moderate-income communities, coupled with reckless behavior on the part of greedy homeowners, as the crux of the problem. One example is the statement by Fox News reporter Neil Cavuto that "loaning to minorities and risky borrowers is a disaster." To the contrary, our recent research demonstrates that it is outside investors living in other, predominantly white neighborhoods, not local homeowners, who account for the adverse impact on our nation's black communities.

The New York Times
By: Eric Dash and Nelson D. Schwartz
October 24, 2011

In cautious times, banks flooded with cash

Bankers have an odd-sounding problem these days: they are awash in cash.

Droves of consumers and businesses unnerved by the lurching markets have been taking their money out of risky investments and socking it away in bank accounts, where it does little to stimulate the economy.

The New York Times
By: Sabrina Tavernise
October 24, 2011

Outside Cleveland, snapshots of poverty's surge in the suburbs

PARMA HEIGHTS, Ohio -- The poor population in America's suburbs -- long a symbol of a stable and prosperous American middle class -- rose by more than half after 2000, forcing suburban communities across the country to re-evaluate their identities and how they serve their populations.

The Christian Science Monitor
By: Rachel Black
October 20, 2011

Congress: Don't squander America's big investment opportunity

Earning a college education benefits families and the economy for generations. Unfortunately, students from low-income homes are earning degrees at the lowest rate in three decades. Washington needs to cash in their economic potential by helping them save for college.

Business Wire
October 24, 2011

CAAB and Citi using innovative savings model and training to boost entrepreneurship, job readiness and financial capability

WASHINGTON-Today, Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) and Citi Community Development formally announced the new Jobs & Entrepreneurship Stimulus Account (JESA) program, an accelerated Individual Development Account (IDA) savings program for individuals who agree to save $500 towards their small business or job training costs.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By: Suzanne Perry
October 16, 2011

Coalition of 200 organizations seeks to fight poverty and create opportunity

When Catholic Charities USA started a campaign four years ago to cut poverty in the United States in half by 2020, about 37.3 million people lived below the poverty line. Today, the shaky economy has made that goal even tougher to reach.

Bank Tracker
By: Zachary Ehrlich
October 21, 2011

More consumers leaving banking than entering

General distrust for the banking industry has been spreading like a disease across all income brackets. I've always suspected that this had to do with banks' indifference toward the individual customer; and a PEW Health Group study backs me up.

Housing Wire
By: Kerry Curry
October 20, 2011

Poverty rates continue to rise, southern states hardest hit

Poverty rates rose to 15.3% in 2010 from 14.3% 2009 as the nation's economic malaise and housing crisis persist, according to Census Bureau data released Thursday.

Get the real college costs

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Emily Glazer
October 23, 2011

Get the real college costs

How much will college really cost? For families, the answer may soon become clearer.

Starting Oct. 29, any college or university participating in federal student-aid programs must have a net-price calculator on its website.

Solving the nation's dropout crisis

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Education Week
By: Russell W. Rumberger
October 24, 2011

Solving the nation's dropout crisis

The United States is facing a dropout crisis. Only 76 percent of public high school students earn a diploma within four years of entering the 9th grade, a rate lower than 40 years earlier. The United States ranks 21st among industrialized countries in the proportion of youths who complete high school. We will never achieve President Barack Obama's goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world without solving our dropout crisis.

The neglected self-starter

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Democracy: A Journal of Ideas (CFED)
By: Bob Friedman
October 19, 2011

The neglected self-starter

Among the very good provisions of the American Jobs Act (AJA) are some that recognize the real job creators of the American economy: the self-employed, and even the unemployed, who often realize the only way they'll become employed is to create jobs for themselves. AJA includes pathbreaking provisions for a Self Employment Tax Credit, extends the Self Employment Assistance program to unemployed people in all 50 states, and adds self-employment training and support to re-employment programs. The likely result if passed: hundreds of thousands of new jobs, targeted to those who need them most.

The Washington Post
By: Carol Morello and Luz Lazo
October 21, 2011

D.C. area has lowest poverty rate in nation

The Washington region had the lowest poverty rate of any major metropolitan area in the country during the past two years, even though poverty is up significantly and continues to rise.

Fed is poised for more easing

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Jon Hilsenrath
October 21, 2011

Fed is poised for more easing

Federal Reserve officials are starting to build a case for a new program of buying mortgage-backed securities to boost the ailing economy, though they appear unlikely to move swiftly.

Reuters
By: Leslie Adler
October 20, 2011

Poverty rates rose in most U.S. states, cities: Census

The ranks of the poor rose in almost all U.S. states and cities in 2010, despite the end of the longest and deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression the year before, U.S. Census data released on Thursday showed.

World Herald
By: Erin Grace
October 11, 2011

Better finances may mean better health

Is Lee Briggs stressed?

The Omaha single mother and full-time worker juggling classes -- in Lincoln, no less -- for a second college degree, answers with a shrug and a laugh.

Twin Cities Daily Planet (CFED)
By: Rosa Tock
October 20, 2011

Snapshot of Latino community from One Minneapolis report

The baseline data titled One Minneapolis (2011) released by the Minneapolis Foundation and the Wilder Foundation a couple of weeks ago, reveals disturbingly persistent opportunity and well-being gaps between different racial/ethnic groups throughout their school, career, and employment path. The white population which represents a little bit more than two thirds of the total population (64 percent) fares much better in almost every socioeconomic indicator related to education, jobs, housing, and employment than the residents of color (36 percent).

American Banker
By: Victoria Finkle
October 20, 2011

Hidden Fees Force Poor Customers Out of Banking System-Pew

Hidden fees are forcing some consumers out of the traditional banking system.

One third of the low-income households who closed an account between 2009 and 2010 cited hidden or unexpected fees as their reason for leaving their banks, according to a report released Tuesday by a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Star Tribune (CFED)
By: Kara McGuire
October 18, 2011

12 steps toward a financially capable Minnesota

Mike Rothman is making good on his promise to focus on the financial capability of Minnesotans as commissioner of the state's Commerce Department.

Twin Cities Daily Planet (CFED)
By: Nan Madden
October 19, 2011

New studies tell a familiar story: Racial disparities in assets

Two new reports from a national think tank look at financial security and opportunity in Minnesota, and find that Minnesota as a whole does better than the national averages, but worse than national averages when it comes to communities of color. Unfortunately, the story of Minnesota's deep racial disparities is a familiar one - one you've heard from us most recently in our blog on census data on incomes and poverty.

USA Today (CFED)
By: John Wisely
October 19, 2011

Some states adding assets to food stamp qualification

How rich is too rich for food stamps? The answer depends on where you live.

In Michigan, if you have $5,000 in liquid assets or a car or truck worth more than $15,000, you're probably out of luck under new rules launched this month.

Do newspapers matter?

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The Region
By: Douglas Clement
September 27, 2011

Do newspapers matter?

Research suggests that diminished news coverage following closure of a newspaper reduces democratic participation

The collapse of the newspaper industry in recent decades is well-known, in part because of how extensively the media themselves have covered the trend. The consequences of this decline have been bemoaned by many, but rarely are they assessed with any degree of accuracy. Recent research by Minneapolis Fed Senior Economist Sam Schulhofer-Wohl and Miguel Garrido, an Edgeworth Economics consultant, provides a revealing, if preliminary, empirical demonstration that reduced news coverage due to fewer newspapers can indeed affect important civic activity and the democratic process itself.

The Region
By: Michael Hamilton--Student Essay Contest Winner
September 27, 2011

Germany's Kurzarbeit work program: A plan for job growth in the U.S.

Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, stated "if we can slow job destruction even a little bit, then we will have set the stage for big increases in net job creation." Strong policy is necessary to diminish the threat the recession holds over American workers, and after a $787 billion economic stimulus, it may be time to look across the pond for a solution to combat rising unemployment. A sound economic policy to learn from has been implemented in Germany to minimize the effects of unemployment, which they call "kurzarbeit,"or "short-work." This policy has allowed many German workers to remain employed, and a similar American strategy can be implemented, which will most likely have a dramatic effect on the pace and extent of national unemployment. Because of the high level of unemployment in the U.S., it is necessary for the government to work with corporations by encouraging them to keep their current workers, while hiring new employees in order to maximize production. To establish the discussion of a resourceful American plan, it is important to first take a closer look at the situation in Germany.

New America Foundation
By: Terri Friedline
October 18, 2011

Summarizing the research: Evidence from a statewide randomized experiment testing CDA policy

A growing number of studies examine the relationships between children's savings accounts and their educational and financial outcomes. (Please see the Center for Social Development's website or read this review article for more information on the studies examining these relationships). Consistently, children who have savings accounts early in life have significantly better educational and financial outcomes compared to children who do not have savings accounts early in life. These findings hold true even after taking into consideration things like academic achievement, household income, and household net worth.

MPR News
By: Jessica Mador
October 18, 2011

Report: Minority households less able to sustain financial crisis

St. Paul, Minn. -- New numbers out Tuesday show the state's racial minority households are less likely to have the means to survive financial crises than white households.

Star Tribune (CFED)
By: Warren Wolfe
October 18, 2011

Many in Twin Cities lack the resources to build for tomorrow

A new report says a third of people in Minneapolis and St. Paul don't have enough assets to cushion against hard times or get ahead.

In most measures of prosperity, Minnesota stacks up well against the nation. Not so with the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to a new report.

More poor kids in more poor places

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NewsWise
October 18, 2011

More poor kids in more poor places

Durham, N.H. - Persistent high poverty is most prevalent among children, with those living in rural America disproportionally impacted, according to researchers from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

Market Watch
October 18, 2011

Hidden or unexpected fees cited as top reason working poor close bank accounts

Los Angeles--Pew Study Shows Low-Income Los Angeles Households Face Significant Barriers to Maintaining Bank Accounts

U.S. News
By: Jason Koebler
October 14, 2011

Students want to become business owners but lack training

Young Americans have high aspirations, according to a new poll released Thursday by Gallup-HOPE. More than three quarters of students in grades 5 to 12 want to be their own boss, and nearly half plan to start their own business.

The Huffington Post
By: Jillian Berman
October 14, 2011

Americans' access to basic needs hits recession lows as income growth slows

Americans' ability to access basic life necessities are at recession lows. And the country likely won't catch up with pre-recession incomes for a long time.

Reigniting the Dream

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The Huffington Post
By: Rep. John Conyers
October 15, 2011

Reigniting the Dream

The dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial provides an opportunity to reflect and commit ourselves to Dr. King's work. The ceremony on Oct. 16 will also serve as a homecoming for people of every nation who heeded Dr. King's dare to dream and then worked toward the twin goals of justice and equality. In addition we honor the sacrifices of those who marched, sacrificed, and died -- including Dr. King -- in the struggle for equality and equal justice under law.

The Washington Post
By: Sarah Kliff
October 16, 2011

'No Excuses:' Can charter principles work in traditional schools?

As independent charter schools continue to grow, they continue to be dogged by problems of scale, questions of whether one site's educational gains can be replicated elsewhere.

Concord Monitor (ROC)
By: Arnie Alpert
October 15th, 2011

Concord's Wall St. is already occupied ; Community Loan Fund shows the way

If Manhattan's Wall Street symbolizes the unrestrained greed and social irresponsibility that crashed the economy three years ago, Concord's Wall Street represents the opposite.

The Wall Street Journal
By: AnnaMaria Andriotis
October 11, 2011

Community banks not ruling out debit-card fees

Consumers looking to switch to small community banks and credit unions to escape the newly imposed debit-card fees may want to think twice. While smaller institutions are technically exempt from the new federal regulations which prompted Bank of America and others to impose the charges, industry experts say that might not last for long.

The Huffington Post
By: Peter Goodman
October 13, 2011

Soaring suburban poverty catches communities unprepared

Edgewater, Colo. -- Before the unraveling, Selena Blanco and her family felt secure in their hold on middle class life in this bedroom community just west of Denver. She and her husband both held professional jobs in industries that seemed sheltered from trouble, his in technology, hers in health care. Together they brought home $100,000 a year, enough to allay concerns about paying the bills, let alone having to ask for help.

Business Wire
October 13, 2011

St. Louis Microfinance Conference showcases positive impact of providing financial services to low-income families, communities

Three years have passed since a group of women received funds left over from a charitable foundation's annual grant budget to establish The Women's Helping Hands Bank. Today, they provide loans to their neighbors for daily living expenses such as appliances, car repairs, college tuition and funerals.

The Washington Post
By: Lori Montgomery
October 12, 2011

Report: A quarter of U.S. millionaires pay taxes at a lower rate than some in middle class

A quarter of millionaires in the United States pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than many middle-class families, according to a new congressional analysis that offers fresh support for President Obama's push to raise taxes on the nation's wealthiest households.

The Washington Post
By: Jay Mathews
October 12, 2011

Better ways to deal with achievement gap need to be found

Frederick M. Hess's long essay in the latest issue of the quarterly National Affairs pleased those of us who share the American Enterprise Institute scholar's dislike for politicians' fixation on closing the achievement gap. Reducing the gap sounds good until you realize that means it is okay for high achievers to stagnate so that low achievers can catch up.

Bloomberg
By: David J. Lynch
October 13, 2011

Growing income gap raises U.S. vulnerability to crises

A widening gap between rich and poor is reshaping the U.S. economy, leaving it more vulnerable to recurring financial crises and less likely to generate enduring expansions.

The Huffington Post
October 13, 2011

More Americans than Chinese struggling to put food on the table: Gallup Poll

Millions of Americans are currently weathering the effects of a slow economic recovery. Many Chinese, meanwhile, find themselves struggling less to keep their families fed, according to a recent Gallup report.

The Huffington Post
By: Alex Veiga
October 13, 2011

More U.S. homes receive first-time default notices over the summer

LOS ANGELES -- More U.S. homes are entering the foreclosure process, but they're taking ever longer to get sold or repossessed by lenders.

Credit Union Times (CFED)
By: Claude R. Marx
October 12, 2011

Wright-Patt CEO urges balanced regulation

While the credit union model is the most effective one for helping middle-class citizens improve their financial health, government officials should enact policies to enable credit unions to do even more, Wright-Patt CU President/CEO Doug Fecher told a Senate panel.

The Huffington Post
By: Jesse Williams
October 11, 2011

Too many American students are experiencing hunger

A new school year is now underway and as I look back on my time as a student, I remember the transition every fall to new classes, friends and homework. I also remember picking up my free lunch cards from the office every week, and the period when I was too embarrassed to use them. For plenty of us, navigating certain childhood indignities was a part of life, but few are as basic, prohibitive or preventable as the current lack of essential food necessary to keep our nation's children fueled, energized and able to stay focused in school. Ultimately, I was grateful to have those worn, paper lunch tickets. I was grateful to have the support.

The Atlantic
By: Derek Thompson
October 12, 2011

Signs of dissent: do you feel the wealth trickle down?

Welcome back to The Atlantic Signs of Dissent Project, where we bring economic context to some of the most provocative sings of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Yesterday we launched the project by explaining a sign about student loans, which have, astoundingly, quintupled in the last 12 years. Now let's get to one of the major themes of the movement: the runaway wealth of the top 1%.

The Wall Street Journal
October 5, 2011

Small-business loans edge up at small banks

While credit at large banks remains tight for small firms, loan approvals by smaller lenders are at the highest level this year, Biz2Credit reports.

NPR
By: Larry Abramson
October 11, 2011

No Child Left Behind waivers worry some advocates

The Obama administration wants states to focus more of their attention on the lowest-performing schools, where large numbers of students are failing state tests year after year.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Annamaria Andriotis
October 11, 2011

College-saving plans shift to keep parents from becoming dropouts

Just as they may face another market-driven exodus, several states are making changes to their college savings plans, hoping to keep parents calm and invested.

The Huffington Post
By: Lindsey Buss
October 7, 2011

Nonprofits could lose more than money if Fannie and Freddie giving ends

The study released Monday by a coalition representing the nonprofit, philanthropic, government and business sectors in D.C. examining a decrease of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's philanthropy is creating a call to action for local corporations to become leaders in their communities -- and to use Fannie and Freddie as models of how it can be done well. Melanie Alnwick from Fox 5 asked me recently who should step up to fill this void. Our experience at Martha's Table echoes the Eight Neighbor's study's conclusion that it's not just Fannie and Freddie's money that we'll miss in the years to come -- it's also the long-term partnership and dedication to change that they've invested in the nonprofit community and in the people we serve.

The Atlantic
By: Derek Thompson
October 7, 2011

35 years of a hollowed middle class from the children's perspective

The Hamilton Project is doing some of the best work out there about families and inequality. This the group that showed that men's real wages have fallen to levels unheard of since the 1950s, while women's remarkable education surge has helped bolster the incomes of dual-earner families. This morning, they shared with The Atlantic a soon-to-be-published study looking at the question of family earnings from a new perspective: children.

Unthinking Financial Regulators

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The Washington Times
By: Richard W. Rahn
October 10, 2011

Unthinking Financial Regulators

New rules often hurt low-income Americans most

Imagine what life would be like if you did not have a bank account and a credit or debit card. It would be much harder to pay your bills, take trips on airlines, which normally require a credit or debit card, and receive payments, just to start. The shocking thing is that more than one-quarter of all American households are unbanked or underbanked and that this number is rising, not falling, largely because of ill-thought-out financial regulation and policies.

The Huffington Post
By: Steve Mariotti
October 7, 2011

Students Taking Ownership - Bridging the Economic Challenges of Today Through Entrepreneurship Education

I have been an educator for 30 years, and in that time, I have seen how our at-risk youth are uniquely equipped to handle the perils and uncertainties inherent in entrepreneurship. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the organization I founded in 1987, sows the seeds of innovation, opportunity and access in students around the world by providing them with an entrepreneurship education curriculum with courses in math, reading and writing that are relevant to the real world, teaching them that you can participate in the economy, take control of your future and find your own path to success. NFTE connects students with mentors to help guide them each step of the way from business plan development to advertising to market penetration.

The New York Times
By: Ron Lieber
October 7, 2011

Checking Account Wars, Behind the Scenes

This week, Senator Dick Durbin took to the Senate floor and called for a run on Bank of America.

The Wall Street Journal
By: Vauhini Vara
October 10, 2011

California Sets New Course in Immigrant-Student Law

California's decision to let undocumented immigrants apply for publicly funded financial aid for college offers illegal-immigrant youths in the largest state a new benefit after a federal measure to assist undocumented students failed last year.

The Huffington Post
By: Bill Himpler
October 7, 2011

Addressing the Credit Needs of the Unbanked

Last week, Nobel Prize winning economist Mohamed Yunnus appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe to promote his work in the area of micro-lending and he was welcomed with open arms by the show's hosts for his good work. Yunnus is trying to address the need for access to affordable credit among the unbanked.

Get smart about college

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson
September 19, 2011

Get smart about college

It's the time of year when families start to think about colleges. But very few take a crucial first step: thinking about how they think.

Getting Credit

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Inside Higher Ed
By: Paul Fain
October 6, 2011

Getting Credit

Rapid growth in the number of students earning credentials at community colleges over the last two decades has outpaced enrollment gains at those institutions, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Association of Community Colleges. Findings include faster gains for minority students, meaning a partial closing of the "achievement gap" in credentials awarded.

Reaching out to Latinos

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The Wall Street Journal
By: Jaime Levy Pessin
October 5, 2011

Reaching out to Latinos

Hispanics are the fastest-growing demographic group in the U.S. They're also among the least likely to invest and keep money in 401(k)s and other retirement-savings accounts, recent reports show.

Chicago Tribune
By: Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane
October 6, 2011

Economic inequality: the real cause of the urban school problem

America's urban public schools are in trouble: Student test scores are low and dropout rates are high. Recent remedies proposed include everything from reducing the power of teachers unions and opening more charter schools to ending test-based accountability. But what if education critics are focused on the wrong problem?

Poverty and payday loans

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Florida Courier
By: Charlene Crowell
October 2, 2011

Poverty and payday loans

Earlier this week new data from the U.S. Census Bureau announced that 46 million Americans now live in poverty; it is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published. Since 2007, poverty has increased in 46 states and today affects one of every four American children.

Market Watch
October 4, 2011

CFSI convenes nonprofit and industry innovators to spur underserved innovation

NEW YORK -- The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) today commenced the Financial Capability Innovators Development Lab in tandem with its Innovators Roundtable meeting in New York, NY. The meeting will focus on catalyzing innovation among financial thought leaders and innovators, all united in a commitment to better serve financially underserved consumers.

The Huffington Post
By: Marian Wright Edelman
October 4, 2011

National and state safety nets fail to catch millions of children

The Children's Defense Fund has launched a new series of stories on our web site featuring children and their parents who have fallen on very hard times. They are the real faces and fears behind our disgraceful national child poverty statistics -- 16.4 million poor children living in the richest nation on earth. In 2010, over a million more children fell into poverty, over half a million more into extreme poverty. Forty-three states saw increases in poverty for children under six, the most critical years for brain development. Extreme poverty, defined as an annual income of less than half the poverty level, means less than $30 a day for a family of four. Forty-one states saw an increase in extreme child poverty in 2010.

The Huffington Post (CFED)
By: Hayley Miller
October 3, 2011

Women recovering from recession at significantly slower pace than men, new study shows

WASHINGTON -- Although the recession initially hit men hard, it's women who have been struggling the most to get back on their feet, according to a report released Monday.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy (CFED)
By: Nicole Wallace
October 2, 2011

A Washington group gives budding innovators support to develop their ideas

Cultivating new ideas to help low-income workers build wealth has always been central to the Corporation for Enterprise Development's mission. Several years ago the Washington group started the innovation@cfed program to give structure to that commitment.

USA Today
By: Christine Dugas
October 2, 2011

Low-income borrowers get options beyond payday loans

As more and more Americans rely on costly, non-traditional ways to borrow money, companies are starting to step up to provide safer, more affordable financial tools.

The Spokesman-Review
By: Tom Sowa
October 3, 2011

The lender next door: Peer-to-peer loans gaining popularity

Spokane's Richard Guzzard has lent about $12,000 over the past two years to people he's never met. The retired assistant prison warden has shifted to peer-to-peer lending as his preferred source of retirement income.

The Washington Post
By: Patricia Sullivan
October 2, 2011

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae donations disappearing, study predicts

Fannie Mae and the Freddie Mac Foundation, the Washington area's two biggest contributors to local charities, will probably end their philanthropy in the next few years, with troubling consequences for nonprofit groups that focus on education and human services for the poor, children and families, predicts a study to be released Monday.

Chicago Tribune
By: Mary Ellen Podmolik
October 2, 2011

Housing counselors are feeling the pain of HUD funding cuts

Nonprofit housing groups that counsel consumers who are either trying to purchase a house or keep the one they have are trying to figure out how to make do with no counseling funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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